Washington Post boosts city exploration through app
July 30, 2012
The Explore D.C. app
The Washington Post is building its mobile repertoire with an iPhone application meant to help tourists and locals navigate the city and find deals.
The iPhone app is available for free download from Apple’s App Store. In addition to the Explore D.C. app, The Washington Post also has apps for both its news and other lifestyle-based content for iPhone and Android devices.
“We are dedicated to creating a suite of useful products for our users, no matter where they are,” said Arnie Applebaum, vice president of advertising at The Washington Post, Washington.
“We are known for being a source for Washington, so creating a useful app for tourists and locals was a natural fit,” he said.
Explore on mobile
The goal behind the new Explore D.C. app from The Washington Post is to help visitors and locals in the area find fun activities while also saving money.
The app is set up into three functions – attractions, deals and events.
Under the attractions tab, consumers can view edited lists of activities that are broken down by category. Examples of lists include art museums, kid-friendly attractions and the best neighborhoods.
When consumers tap on a list, they can view a page for each attraction with features such as directions, maps and click-to-call.
The Washington Post Explore D.C. app
Users can also favorite specific venues to build their own lists.
The app also features a section that uses location to find nearby stores and services, which is particularly useful for tourists looking for something specific around them.
Additionally, the app incorporates deals at Washington attractions and restaurants. Consumers can claim a deal instantly from inside the app once they are nearby a attraction.
The Washington Post tourism app is a great example of how a publisher can hone in on one specific demographic when developing an app.
Although it serves a small market, the app gives Washington visitors a comprehensive look at everything the city has to offer. Similar to other initiatives though, the challenge will be getting consumers to discover, download and use the app.
The Washington Post also recently rolled out an election-themed app as a hub for all political coverage (see story).
Additionally, last year the publisher rolled out an Android app to let users access news information (see story).
The Washington Post has a mobile Web site but apps seem to certainly play a large role for the publisher.
“Today, apps are just as useful as the Web,” Mr. Applebaum said.
“By creating an app we are able to optimize the experience for the specific device,” he said. “It is easy for visitors to the nation’s capital to download this resource.
“Mobile is a big priority at The Washington Post, and we are looking forward to continuing to grow and iterate.”
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York
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