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How Business Insider leverages the convergence of social, mobile storytelling

NEW YORK ? A Business Insider executive at Mobile Moments NYC discussed the publication?s focus on digital storytelling, which prioritizes serving content to on-the-go readers quickly, a strategy that has resulted in 60 percent of its traffic stemming from smartphones and tablet devices.

During the session, ?Social is Mobile,? the executive stressed the importance of being extremely mobile-friendly and open to a multi-platform distribution framework in today?s increasingly digital society. Business Insider has seen its storytelling methods naturally evolve into complementary mobile platforms, including social media, further lending credence to the notion that publishers must offer snackable content optimized for smartphone readers.

?Where the convergence of mobile and social happens is a very special place,? said John Ore, senior vice president of product at Business Insider. ?We prioritize experience for the reader first, and that means getting them the content very quickly.?

The Mobile Moments NYC event was organized by Swrve and AppsFlyer.

The digital-first premise
Mr. Ore first discussed Business Insider?s core purpose as a publisher before seguing into how the company has leveraged mobile-first storytelling methods.

?Business Insider was founded on the premise of digital-first for the digital generation,? Mr. Ore said. ?As Business Insider evolved, the storytelling naturally evolved into covering areas that were tangential to business.

?We developed some complementary coverage areas at Business Insider, and in 2015, we launched Tech Insider. Tech Insider covers how technology affects our lives.?

Business Insider sees 60 percent of its traffic come from mobile and tablet devices, while 85 percent of Tech Insider is consumed on mobile.

?Consumption across our social platforms skews overwhelmingly on mobile,? Mr. Ore said. ?Social and mobile are completely converged at some point.?

Therefore, the lion?s share of publishers? distribution methods must involve both.

Mobile video has also proven to be popular with readers, and is easily consumed via social media.

?Video is a key component of that digital storytelling framework,? Mr. Ore said.

Millennials and younger consumers in particular have transformed the way the publishing industry operates nowadays, and have forced media companies to alter their news distribution methods accordingly.

A Huffington Post executive at Mobile Marketer?s Mobile FirstLook: Strategy 2016 said that as consumers rely more than ever on distributed news content on mobile-first platforms, namely social media, this is diluting time spent on destination sites (see story).

The virality of social media has made platforms such as Twitter and Facebook a necessity for publishers. Business Insider claims it has been able to find distribution across a slew of platforms that does not include its owned sites.

The company also recently launched a new brand, simply called Insider, dedicated to coverage of lifestyle topics. Insider was launched as a social-only brand eight months ago, per Mr. Ore, and developed a significant social following without having a dedicated Web site.

Additionally, the offshoot brand reached a younger female audience, thereby broadening Business Insider?s immediate audience.

Drumming up audience-reaching methods
Business Insider has leveraged both the Facebook Instant Articles and Google AMP platforms, the latter of which stands for ?Accelerated Mobile Pages Project.?

Pros for using Facebook Instant Articles include the platform?s speediness and ease of monetizing within its framework. Cons include fewer referrals and loss of control over the content.

Meanwhile, Google AMP also provides inherent speediness, although it does suffer from varied customer experiences in search results.

Ultimately, Business Insider feels it has access to a supportive ecosystem of social platforms that double as distribution destinations.

?If there?s an audience there, our goal is to brand our message and content to them,? Mr. Ore said.