Meograph — the site that lets you mashup stories using video, maps, text and links– launched a new set of features, making it a more promising tool for newsrooms.
Geo optional: One of my earlier qualms with Meograph is that it required the use of a map, making the tool completely unusable for a story that has no significant geo-location elements, but does have the other elements of timeline and multimedia. Now, Meograph is “geo optional,” meaning an increase of potential use cases.
Browser support: Playback of a published meograph, which always worked in all browsers, continues to work. But now you can create a Meograph using the author back-end using any browser as well.
Launch of the journalism page: Meograph’s new journalists page guides news organizations through how to use the tool. The page lists benefits for news orgs. Soon, they’ll be adding journalism-specific content and hopefully usage examples to this page, so keep an eye on it.
Overall redesign: Since the last time we wrote about Meograph (when it was still in beta), the app has gotten a huge facelift. See before and after screenshots below. Although the redesign is mostly an aesthetic improvement, as a third-party embeddable tool, it’s important that the design you’re embedding onto your news site is clean and elegant. On our wish list (which we’ve mentioned to the Meograph team): the ability for newsrooms to easily customize the colors and theme of the player.
Improvements to the back end: In addition to being more browser compatible, the back end’s interface has seen some improvements. There’s a beautiful drag’n drop interface that lets you slide content around and easily add new elements. It’s extremely easy and intuitive to use.
Engagement stats: We also finally have some numbers about meograph’s effectiveness. According to the company’s CEO, Misha Leybovich, about one-third of viewers watch embedded meographs and spend 2-3 minutes longer engaging with a page that has an embedded meograph.
The tool is still free at this point. You can see more demos of news usages on their demos page