Credit: Image from Pixabay

Shorthand, a platform that allows publishers to create multimedia stories hosted on their own websites, is launching out of beta today (23 May), allowing anyone to sign up for an account and start experimenting with the tool.

Publishers will also have the option to sign up for monthly memberships, priced according to the number of Shorthand stories they create.

"We're not competing with the Mediums of the world, we're focused on professional storytelling," said Ricky Robinson, chief executive officer at Shorthand.

"We have found there are many organisations out there who want to use Shorthand, but that don't necessarily create a high volume of stories."

While in beta, Shorthand has been used by news outlets such as the BBC, the Guardian and The Telegraph in the UK, but also in Australia by Fairfax Media, and by WBEZ in the United States.

In May 2015, Shorthand also introduced a feature called Shorthand Social, which provided customers with tweets that were automatically written and scheduled based on the information within the stories created on the platform. Shorthand passed 100 published stories per month in November 2015.

Starting today, anyone can sign up for a free Shorthand account and create draft stories designed for both mobile and desktop – the platform also offers editorial guidance and technical support.

"Other companies are trying to encourage publishers to ditch their websites and jump onto their platforms, but we think the web is the platform and we disagree with the notion that the independent website is dead," Robinson said.

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