CBC North is now on TikTok.
Without the option of posting our news stories to Facebook and Instagram, CBC North is finding new ways of engaging with Northerners.
CBC's North's social editor, Carson Asmundson, answered questions about why CBC started its new account and what audiences can expect to find.
This interview has been edited for length and clarity:
For those who don't know, what is TikTok?
It's a video-sharing platform — if you're on Instagram or Facebook, they kind of have their own version of that, it's called the Reels or Facebook Watch and it's a feed of video content from the pages and people you follow and subscribe to.
What can people expect from CBC North on TikTok?
We really wanted to focus on original content for our social media platforms and that comes from adapting our current content. We're providing new stories for our audiences, but really we want it to be a new source for people who follow CBC or enjoy our content or are interested in CBC North to really interact and engage with us on a different level.
Web articles are great, but it doesn't allow for that level of community engagement and interaction that we're hoping to achieve on this new platform.
CBC North's TikTok account shares some of our news stories and allows discourse with audience. (screengrab)
What do you mean when you say 'community engagement and interaction'?
When we talk about the engagement, I think it really means creating content based on audience feedback. There were restrictions, I know, on Facebook and Instagram near the end around commenting and news sources, so what we want to do is focus on what people are saying in the comments, allow discourse.
When people raise their concerns with a video of ours, we want to be able to respond to that, and TikTok even allows for that inside the app — you can actually just make a video in response to any single comment and I think that's kind of our focus. I know people can be critical of CBC at times, but we want to allow for a level of transparency and discourse from everybody in Canada.
Can you expand further on why CBC North started a TikTok account?
Well if you don't know, Facebook and Instagram's parent company Meta, banned Canadian news. This was in response to the Online News Act, which essentially stated that corporations like Facebook and Google had to start paying news organizations. Rather than choosing to pay, Meta has gone ahead and restricted Facebook pages, Instagram pages, and we're no longer able to interact with our Canadian audience that way.
In response to not being able to engage with our Canadian audiences, we chose to move platforms.
Is there anything else you'd like people to know about our social platforms?
If you have fun videos of the North, cool videos of the North, we always loved sharing them on our Facebook and our Instagram. Please, please, please, I am still on our Meta business suite, I can see all the messages you send to CBC North. Send us your stories, send us your videos, send us your different communities, whatever it is, whatever you care about, send it our way. I'll always read it and pass it along to folks or post it.
Like I said, you can still message us on Facebook, the CBC North main page. Send us a message, I'm always reading that.
Or you can send us a message to firstname.lastname@example.org.