The British royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle – the first American princess for generations – is a global zeitgeist event for social media.
For the first time, social media will play a huge role in the way people consume (and react to) every detail of Harry's and Meghan's historical tie-butts. The last royal wedding of the United Kingdom – the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton – was seven years ago. At that time, Snapchat did not even exist, while Facebook, Instagram and Twitter were not quite up.
"It's a completely different world to 2011," said Rashida Jones, senior vice president of specials at NBC News. "We did not have a social media team last time."
Surely there will be a TV coverage of Meghan-Harry in the US, in the US and elsewhere. But social media has changed the news organizations' strategies both in terms of how they cover the rare royal weddings and in terms of their distribution.
In the past, coverage of such major events has focused on monolithic television broadcasts and large-scale articles. But today, especially with Gen Z and the millennial audience, people are getting more of their news in bite-sized pieces than in a big sip. For the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the diet will be more like a series of amuse-bouches than about a formal seven-course meal.
"There is a generational gap," said People Senior Editor Michelle Tauber, who oversees Royal's coverage. "Instead of a big story about the wedding, we'll have a lot of yummy munchies."
Another factor that has influenced the coverage: The British monarchy has accepted social media since the last round. Kensington Palace, for example, broadcasts news about the wedding directly to official accounts on platforms such as Twitter and Instagram. Although Markle terminated her social media accounts, as expected, in January, the multi-racial American actress is perceived as a down-to-earth personality with millennial appeal on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond. Both Markle – former star of the "Suits" of USA Network – and Prince Harry have actively campaigned for social purposes.
"There is a fundamental shift in the Royals relationship with the digital audience, and Harry was one of the first Digital First Royals," said Jon Laurence, assistant editor of social news publisher NowThis. "There is less of a stiff upper lip … It's a sea change that makes it relevant to our younger audience."
NowThis will deliver real-time updates on Facebook, Facebook Live, Instagram and Snapchat for a cellphone-first audience. According to Laurence, who had previously worked at Channel 4 News of the UK as Head of Digital, the platform will use social-listing tools such as Facebook's CrowdTangle, Spike and Twitter's TweetDeck to monitor which people are in Real time is responding.
Also, the proliferation of social platforms, live streaming video, has greatly recovered since Kate Middleton and Prince William.
There are going to be more ways than ever before the cable cutters will catch Meghan and Harry – and you will not. I even need a TV. On Saturday, CNN will offer live broadcasts for its platforms for free from 4 to 9 pm ET (usually the feed requires pay-TV access data). BBC News also streamed the wedding live on BBC.com worldwide, starting at 5 pm ET.
Others in the exaggerated game include Meredith's PeopleTV free, ad-supported streaming network that will feature live coverage of Harry and Meghan's wedding on Saturday, May 19, starting at 6:00 pm, anchored by "People Now" host Jeremy Parsons , "They can not help but anticipate that more people will experience this wedding because it is easily accessible," said Susanne Mei, GM of PeopleTV.
Is there a risk that the royal wedding bridal tube will be flooded? "I think there is such an insatiable demand for every aspect, it's hard to imagine people getting tired," said Lucy Hockings, a BBC World News presenter, one of the anchors of the network's royal wedding.
Most importantly, "Not only are you flooding the zone with generic content, you are programming it for those specific platforms," Jones Jones said.
CNN is preparing digital coverage targeting two different audiences: royal superfans starving after the last treat in the context of the wedding, and a second group less craving. For the "too-long-not-seen" crowd, the network will provide the best moments and video highlights along with photo galleries.
The hub of CNN's digital coverage is anchored on CNN by a live blog. com, where each item acts as a sharable entity that can travel across social platforms. CNN also plans to release an interactive "gigapixel" photo album to be shot by the Long Walk while Meghan and Harry's car pass on the wedding day. It will be similar to the ultra-high resolution feature CNN, which was produced for the inauguration of Donald Trump in 2017, allowing users to zoom in and out of the scene.
"We have seen an extraordinary interest in this couple since their engagement announcement," said Blathnaid Healy, International Reporting Director for CNN Digital.
The anticipation of the social media marriage has peaked in the last six months since the couple's engagement became official. In a way, it's even bigger than big global sporting events like the World Cup, the Olympics or the Super Bowl, as Royals observers say: A British royal wedding comes once upon a blue moon – the next in line will be Kate and Williams kids be in two decades or so.
In the last 30 days alone, Twitter users have posted more than 500,000 tweets for the upcoming #RoyalWedding. Since Harry and Meghan's engagement announcement last November, Harry has tweeted about 3.8 million times and Meghan has 3.3 million mentions. (The most recent retweeted: Markles Counter "Suits" Patrick Adams responded to the engagement : "She said she just wanted to get milk …"
News of all the streaks are being scanned by social Keep the media in tune with the public mood – stay alert if, for example, they can quickly turn around an animated GIF of Harry and Meghan, or if they have to deal with online reactions.
"We have to be nimble because we are so concerned about it It's clear what the public will be sharing on social media, "said Hockings of BBC World News," As a presenter, I have a script in my head about how it could work, but on the wedding day, things could be different, it makes it more exciting and more interesting. "
NBC News, in addition to broadcasting all four anchors of the" Today "show and presenting four hours live from Windsor, will broadcast its TV coverage on Telemundo, E !, Access Hollywo od and NBC Affiliates
The presentation will not be as cumbersome or formal as past royal weddings, reflecting not only the current expectations of viewers, but also the more relaxed tone of Meghan, Harry and the family itself. For example, NBC Reporters and producers use cell phones to record videos in the crowd. "We want to be in the masses," Jones said. "We will play with toys that we did not get for the last time."
Snapchat will also be playing its royal hand, the first time that the mobile app will be starring a British royal wedding treat. Along with shows like NBC's "Stay Tuned" news show, Snapchat is collaborating with TLC for a special four-part series "Inside the Royal Wedding," which premiered on Wednesday with new installments on May 17, 18, and 20 , But TLC stays tuned TV for the main event: On Saturday, the cable hunter will present a four-hour live block program for royal wedding.
With global interest in the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the event could break video streaming traffic records. In 2011, the wedding of William and Kate reached a peak of more than 2.9 million simultaneous streams in the delivery network of Akamai Technologies – a record at that time. This was most recently surpassed by Donald Trump's inauguration in 2017 (which had 4.6 million simultaneous viewers), but industry observers believe the wedding of Harry and Meghan will easily surpass it.
Even non-news companies are doing Harry Meghan fever. For example, Zynga's mobile game "Words With Friends 2" this week unveiled a special "Royal Social Dictionary" curated by "Royals" actress Elizabeth Hurley. And Hangtime's live game show app hosts a live round of royal wedding themed trivia on Saturday at 6 pm. ET
Shortly after the event, the royal wedding will supply the Mill of Celebrity Media with water. "We know that Meghan and Harry will return to work with official commitments within days," said People's Tauber.
Of course, the news agencies are not limited exclusively to the feel-good and fairytale stories of the wedding. The BBC, for example, has a segment on the problem of the homeless on the streets of Windsor in front of the Royal Union. As Jones NBC News put it, "It's a bit of a runaway escape from the normal news cycle, but it's not going to whet our appetite for news coverage that has nothing to do with the wedding."
Saturday, Big News These are things like Markle's official post-wedding title, her dress, the couple's kiss and reactions to the event. What kind of surprises on Big Day – maybe wedding crashers? Tauber does not believe that, "There is no reason to believe that things will not go as well" as Kate and Williams, "Shindig," she said.
Tauber added: "The British really know how to make a wedding."