People have been telling stories since the dawn of time. But tales once told around a campfire are now mobile-first experiences, with the glow coming from a screen rather than a fire and the narratives shifting to ones that are co-created by audiences.
What was once a one-story, one-audience approach through mass broadcasting soon became separate stories tailored to audience segments. Then came digital, where content (or stories) were created to sell advertising space. The story and brand were still separate here.
Then social media burst onto the scene. Brands and stories started to play more, and the audience started to become part of the story, as social media channels took word of mouth and set it on fire. The term "user-generated content" (UGC) was born.
But social media became too polished and curated for audiences. They craved something authentic that they could relate to. Social media started to become like the TV commercials and shiny print ads of content days gone by -- pre-planned, pre-paid and false.
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