The updated guide to Storify for journalists

Storify has come a long way since it was first introduced in private beta form in Sept. 2010. The brainchild of former AP reporter Burt Herman and his co-founder Xavier Damann, Storify gives journalists a way to integrate social media in copy. Think of it as wire editing on steroids.


  1. Why Storify? In the same way that copy editors would put stories together based on wire reports from Reuters, AP, PA, AFP et al, Storify gives copy editors the ability to put together rich-media stories from a wide array of social media sources. 
  2. For example, these two tweets convey a real-time on-the-scene account of a live breaking news story that would have been impossible otherwise.  The Twitter user @reallyvirtual may have been an accidental observer but his tweets are solid examples of live reporting from a major news event - the death of Osama Bin Laden.
  3. The tweets could be used to build a story which curates and aggregates a timeline of events or curates tweets which unfolded with breaking news. Another good use of Storify is to gather up reactions to important stories via social media and build a story on live tweets and eyewitness reports. 
  4. Mallary Tenore at Poynter says Storify works best with the following types of stories: breaking news, social movements, humor and memes, reaction stories and weather reports. 
    There are some great examples included in the piece below.
  5. Step 1: Create an account on Storify and log in. You can use your Twitter or Facebook account to log in or your regular email address. 
  6. Step 2: Once you're signed in, hit "Create Story."
  7. Step 3: Once signed in, you will see this screen. The main left-hand window is where you build the story, the right-hand window is where you can pull in all the different sources. 

    There are currently 17 sources available which run the gamut from Instagram to Facebook to Twitter but one of those sources is a straightforward url which means pretty much any content available on the web can be pulled into a Storify.
  8. In the example below, we are using Storify to search for tweets on a particular subject, in this case #romneyencore which was a trending topic the week I wrote this.
  9. You might say, "so what," I can search for sources on Twitter itself. But the beauty of Storify is that you can search for stories, click on users to verify them, and then save those tweets, all in one place. 

    And the other thing about Storify? Tweets live forever on Storify even if they are deleted by the user. Which is another good reason to think twice before you Tweet. 
  10. Step 4: You can also collect items from the web and save them to your Storypad for later use. To do this you need to either download the Storify extension if you are using Chrome. Or drag the Bookmarklet to your Bookmark browser. I prefer to use the Chrome extension because it provides a richer experience.
  11. For example, if you were working on a story about a breaking news event, you could use the Storify button which pops up on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest (among others) in Chrome to save tweets and posts back to your Storypad. 
  12. Step 5: Install the bookmarklet and/or Chrome extension. 
  13. Add-ons: Creating a permanent record of a conversation on Twitter is simple with the $2.99 Tweetbot app available for the iPhone and iPad. Download the app onto your phone and you can then Storify a particular conversation. The resulting Storify can be published as a standalone story, or pulled in to your existing story.
  14. Watch the Prezi below for some more tips on Copy Editing with Storify.
  15. Check out these examples of Storify.