Bingqing Mao

Less is More: Why The One Is My Model for New News Apps

mobile news app , credit by: Digital Trends

Every day the first thing after I wake up is to check my phone. And the first mobile app I choose is not Facebook or Wechat, but an app called One, which has a simple but stronger slogan: “One is all.” One introduces one quote, one short novel, one song and one movie every day. Visiting One in the morning has become my habit. Inspired by this app, I am thinking about to have an app for news stories.

According to Pew Research Center, the report, The Future of Mobile News, found that half of U.S. adults in 2012 own mobile devices and a majority use them for news. Another report, The Demographic of Mobile News: App vs. Browser Use also said even though the browser is more popular in 2012, but “the survey also found that app users tended to be more active mobile consumers, carrying special appeal for news organizations.” Many news media have already had apps, such as CNN and The New York Times. Therefore, the environment to build a news app is becoming mature.

credit by West Virginia University student Brittany Furbee

However, what my app different from those news organizations’ app is it has few news stories.

If there is too much information, people are easily distracted, which will decrease the reader engagements. My idea is that the app shows six news stories in the morning, one news story could be the most important news happened yesterday; and then it puts six new news stories at 1 p.m. and then 9 p.m.

The forms for the news are also various. It could have more pictures shorter sentences; it could be a video within 2 minutes; it could be a long feature story or investigation report; the goal is to influence users reading behavior. All the news could be from different news publications, it could be from in Time, it could be from Rolling Stone; it could be from a freelancer.

Nevertheless, all the news stories are selected by editors to ensure the quality and link back to the sources. Even though the choices are becoming less for users, but they could have more patience to read through those news stories. And people could spend time on the way to the office or school in the morning, during the short break after lunch, and before sleep, finishing reading 18 news stories. It maybe cost people half an hour a day, which is short, but fair enough for most of them. In my opinion, it would help users to form a good reading habit and also improve their reading experiences: nice stories, nice design, and fewer disruptions, which would improve the reader engagements.

The Explosion in Mobile Audiences and a motion graphic, based on the infographic (ElkanoData), credit by Pew Research Center

The readers who are tend to have higher engagement are the “good” and “high quality” consumers for news organizations to look for. The article, Sweetheart, Get Me Readers, said that the New York Times also starts to pay more attention to the reader engagement rather page views. Why? Because those people more likely to share the news with others, which would increase the page view in a way. Furthermore, those people are also more loyal and willing to pay for information. After the app becomes mature, it could release a new feature that reader could reward the journalists by clicking “reward” bottom, then 25 cents to 10 dollars’ reward could be sent to the journalist who writes this news. In this way, the journalists have higher income and passion, the readers would also enjoy the news.

 

 

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