Toronto Star rolls out mobile site to streamline reading experience
Canadian newspaper The Toronto Star has launched a mobile site to let consumers stay on top of daily news.
The mobile site can be accessed at http://m.thestar.com/ and lets users catch up on the newspaper?s latest news. The mobile site is powered by Polar Mobile?s MediaEverywhere platform.
"The Star had an existing mobile presence via native mobile applications - mobile Web is a natural extension of this mobile presence," said Kunal Gupta, CEO of Polar Mobile, Toronto.
"Their goal was to give readers a best-in-class experience on several devices, which was made possible through the new mobile Web site powered by MediaEverywhere," he said.
Read on mobile
Content on The Toronto Star?s mobile site is free to consumers.
The site is set up vertically so that users scroll down to read over the headlines quickly before clicking on an article.
The newest articles are identified with a banner in the top right-hand corner of article photos.
When users click on a story, they can view article images and links to content inside articles.
Furthermore, a button in the top right-hand corner of the screen lets users share content via Facebook, Twitter and email.
Additionally, article comments load along the bottom of the site.
Users can swipe their finger across the screen from left to right to access the next story in the news category.
The site aggregates sports, entertainment, lifestyle, business, opinion and local news.
The Toronto Star is smart to take its content mobile with consumers increasingly using their mobile devices as their go-to device for reading news.
The trick is to keep the reading experience clean and simple while also including features that give users an incentive to use their mobile devices.
In fact, if done correctly, mobile has the opportunity to increase content consumption, according to a recent study from Pew Research.
The report found that 19 percent of adults who consume news on tablets are reading in-depth articles on a daily basis and 73 read in-depth articles at least sometimes. Additionally, 49 percent of tablet news users and 50 percent of smartphone news users either sometimes or often notice ads on their mobile devices while reading news. (see story).
By extending advertising options to the site, The Toronto Star is able to monetize its efforts.
The mobile site also ties closely with the publisher?s analytics and content infrastructure, per Polar Mobile.
"Most major publishers already have some type of mobile presence by now," Mr. Gupta said.
"The focus this year for most publishers will be to find additional opportunities to monetize their mobile content," he said. "Native ads - the sponsored posts on Facebook and Twitter are great early examples - will prove to be successful in providing higher CPM's for publishers."
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York