Less than a month after Facebook announced the arrival of Instant Articles, Apple has answered with their own native news app, the aptly-named News. Announced earlier this week at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference, News provides direct access to published content on Apple devices as a native app experience. Like Facebook’s Instant Articles, News will host articles built specifically for the app as well as content pulled in from publisher’s websites. Articles created using the new Apple News Format will look especially sharp with the ability to add rich-media such as photos, videos, audio, and infographics.
One of the biggest selling points of News is the reading experience on mobile. According to a report from comScore, 60% of digital media consumption in the U.S. takes place on a mobile device. A quick look at the top mobile apps downloaded reveals a list dominated by content distribution platforms like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. It’s clear that the way we prefer to consume content is on our mobile devices.
News shows that Apple is very aware of the evolving trends and expectations of news readers today. “News seamlessly delivers the articles you want to read in a beautiful and uncluttered format, while respecting your privacy, because Apple doesn’t share your personal data,” said Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of Internet Software and Services. A personalized feed called For You pulls articles from the web based on your interests. A smart discovery news feed called Explore makes suggestions based on what you’ve read, and the more you read the more it learns and the better it gets.
Like Facebook, News comes with an extensive built-in consumer group. Every person with an Apple device (Apple sold their 500 millionth iPhone last year) will have direct access to hand-selected, beautiful articles. Not surprisingly, several publishing powerhouses are in on the action, including ESPN, Condé Nast, Bloomberg, CNN, and Buzzfeed. The desire to provide fast, functional, and relevant media has been a major industry focus, and Apple’s involvement with News is highly-anticipated.
2015 is the year of Distributed Content
Individual publishers (and their destination websites) will continue to decrease in importance as social media services (Facebook Instant Articles, Snapchat Discovery), communication platforms (Viber, WeChat) and device manufacturers (Apple) become content curators and the main point of contact for news (and other stories).
The press release by Apple can be read here.