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Axios Raises $20 Million for Newsroom Expansion, Product Development

It may be less than a year old, but media startup Axios is already considered a bright spot in an otherwise difficult media landscape. Last week, the startup said it raised another $20 million in funding to help expand coverage areas, support product development and expand its capacity for data analysis.

Axios, launched in January by Politico alumni Jim VandeHei and Roy Schwartz, aims to reach executives with a mix of business and politics news. VandeHei said at launch that much of digital media is “broken” and that banner ads and long-form branded content can be a challenge to monetize in the long run. Instead, Axios focuses on short-form native ads appearing alongside bite-size bits of hard news and analysis.

The latest round of funding for Axios comes as both traditional and digital media companies are working to plot growth in a relatively uncertain environment. Last week, in particular, had a flurry of reported media deals and revenue challenges. Digiday has a compelling story today about the digital media world, calling much of last week’s news a “pivot to reality” after years of lofty valuations.

Facebook Launches App for Creators and Influencers

As the influencer space continues to grow, Facebook is rolling out a new app to help creators manage their content and connect with followers. The app called the Facebook Creator App, “will give internet stars a place to create and edit videos, film live, message with followers and track stats about their videos,” according to Ad Age.

More from Ad Age: “Fidji Simo, Facebook’s director of product, wrote in a blog post that she had been meeting with creators like YouTube personality Markian Benhamou and Jay Mendoza, a Facebook comedy creator. ‘While they have very diverse needs and goals, they all shared how important it is for them to have tools to nurture their community,’ Simo said.”

YouTube and Ticketmaster Team up to Help Connect Artists and Fans

By Katie McKinley

YouTube and Ticketmaster have partnered to bring music fans everything they love in one place: YouTubers can now purchase tickets to upcoming concerts as they watch music videos both within desktop and mobile environments.

According to a YouTube blog post, “YouTube’s massive fan base paired with Ticketmaster’s global roster of concerts and security of verified tickets means we can easily connect a fan’s discovery of music on YouTube to their ability to purchase concert tickets.”

The integration is a natural fit for YouTube since music videos are consistently part of the most played content on the platform, which has over 1.5 billion monthly visitors.

Ticketmaster is also integrated with Spotify and Facebook to drive ticket sales, so while this is not an exclusive partnership for YouTube, it will be a key way for YouTube to become an even larger force within the music category.

The new feature is available now for artists who have upcoming shows in North America, but will eventually expand worldwide.

This Week in Social: Twitter Confirms Tweetstorm Feature Coming

By Melissa Santiago

Twitter has confirmed rumors that it is indeed testing a “Tweetstorm” feature. What exactly is a Tweetstorm? Merriam Webster—yes, a legitimate dictionary defines Twitter terms—describes it as, “a series of related tweets posted by a Twitter user in quick succession.” Tweetstorm tweets usually begin with a number so readers can keep up with the sequence.

Twitter has not given an official release date for the feature but did confirm to TechCrunch that it’s testing the feature with a few users.

Twitter often creates features based on how their platform is being used natively. Allowing users to reply to Tweets with @username and the use of hashtags were behaviors started by the community that have grown into vital pieces of how people use the platform. Unless you’re one of the lucky few selected to test the feature, you’ll still need to carefully begin each submission to your Tweetstorm with 1/3, 2/3, 3/3 and keep count.

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