Swansea and Roma break new social media ground, but the lessons will be the same always

This week, AS Roma signed up to the social media platform Steller.

In all honesty, I’d never heard of the platform until the Italian club announced they’d joined it. Looking into it, though, it felt like a promising platform for rich content which combines lots of different types of media to create an immersive experience for the user.

I was also struck by the similarities between Steller and the likes of Instagram Stories. These are platforms which give the creator the ability to combine photos and text to tell a story to their audience. But there is a difference in tone: the Stories platform seems much more immediate, whereas Roma’s Steller content – stuff like the 50 greatest AS Roma Tattoos, or the Roma players’ quotes of the week – feels slightly more timeless. Certainly, it seems to have a longer shelf life.

The idea is that it’s immersive, though. Like Twitter moments, it takes up your phone’s screen and allows you to swipe through to get all the information. But rather than collate different points of view into one moment, Steller allows one creator to create something more akin to a storybook tale, like this below from Swansea City.

This sort of content seems like the perfect fit for a football club. It doesn’t seem constrained to the demands of the newsfeed of a Twitter or a Facebook, and seems a more relaxed environment to tell real stories, rather than sharing short snippets of news or videos. It’s also not exclusively text based nor image based. But most of all, it allows a club to tell an actual story, which is what most club content should do as it’s there to engage.

More and more, social media platforms are either popping up or else they are pivoting to offer other services, and we will probably reach a saturation point: there’s simply too much content out there vying for attention, and you can’t consume it all. But Roma and Swansea’s venture into Steller seem to provide good examples to football clubs that they can do more than just collate and curate content like image and video: they can stitch them together with text and create something larger, like a storybook.

Whatever the media platform is, the lesson is the same: it’s about creating stories. The stories are why people love sport.


About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 836 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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