‘Appy Hour for Publishers

Quartz have released a new app which breaks the mould for news apps by adopting a messaging style of delivery.

The Guardian talked to editor-in-chief Kevin Delaney about the thinking behind the format;

Clearly, a lot of the interactions that we have on our phones are around messaging. It’s a format that readers are familiar with. It’s also relatively unexplored from the perspective of: how do you turn a newsroom towards publishing directly on to this interface? So that’s part of it. The other part of it is that there’s an opportunity for us to have relatively direct communication with our readers, to have them reply, respond to things we’re doing.

Nieman Lab have also been reporting on the app which is currently available only for iPhones. Apple’s style of alerts means that the way the app alerts the user can be nuanced to describe different types of notification.

‘Apple has added more nuance to the kinds of alerts apps can send, so as a result, the Quartz app will only make your phone buzz when it sends major breaking news alerts. Other push notifications — updates when new stories are added to the app, or a haiku that’s sent when the markets close — just light up your phone. Users can decide how many or few notifications they want to receive, and they’re written conversationally, much in the style of BuzzFeed’s news app, which was released last year’.

The Washington Post is introducing a new feature to it’s mobile pages. ‘Re-Engage’ sends a message to distracted readers who may be swiping too fast to read content or bored readers who stop swiping altogether. Re-Engage sends a comment pop-up which points users towards alternative content, which is curated using the publications Clavis personalisation program.

The Times have launched an app that target readers outside the UK, with a compilation of stories every Thursday. The edition focuses on news with an international angle, such as business and sport. The Times (which has a hard paywall model which has recently seen profits) is currently investing in app development as are a number of other publications (see this previous Radar post). It is expected that further additions of the new Times app will be rolled out to release more targeted additions.

Phablets are good for news organisations according to a new media poll by the Donald W. Reynolds Journalism Institute (RJI). The poll suggests that users of phablets are more likely to use it to consume news than users of standard sized smartphones.

‘Nearly half (47 percent) of all phablet owners said they “Frequently” or “Very Frequently” consumed online news stories from news organizations such as newspapers and TV stations in the seven days prior to taking the survey. That was more than twice the percentage found for all standard smartphone owners (23 percent)’.


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