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CNN's new mobile site beefs up video offerings

Turner Broadcasting System?s CNN has introduced new mobile and desktop sites that feature more interactive aspects, including larger text and images as well as a big video push.

With many major news organizations maintain Web and application content, CNN needed to bring its Web offering up to speed. Featuring a cleaner, richer experience, CNN believes its effort is a direct response to today?s consumers and their habits.

?Perhaps most important, the new site will give users a more engaging experience across all of our platforms,? said Andrew Morse, senior vice president at CNN. ?The changes we have made will be particularly powerful on mobile devices.?

For the reader
CNN considered a few key aspects when making the move to mobile optimization including video, social, its team of journalists and, obviously, the mobile channel.

CNN believes video is a huge part of its production and continues to grow. The news organization claims to average more than 210 million video starts a month, up 40 percent year over year. Its video player is now bigger and available in more places through the site. 

The revamp is all about ease.

CNN has tried to make it easier to find and stumble across Bourdain, its new original digital series, and exclusive interviews, and CNNgo aims to make it easier to watch CNN TV live on any platform.

Knowing that a good portion of its traffic comes to the site from its social channels, CNN added social buttons to each article page, making it easier for readers to share stories they like.

CNN does not think mobile is the future but instead the present, and its mobile site and apps now account for half of its traffic. Featuring better organization, the new site allows for larger images and text.

There is also a profile page for all CNN journalists, which can be used to track stories written by certain writers. Users can customize their own experience to see their favorite writers? work instantly.

CNN?s Ticker feature is now online, and users can go to live TV or jump to featured stories instantly.

Hot off the press
Other news sites have made the switch to mobile optimization and have seen a lift in engagement, proving the change is worthwhile.

In 2014, Fox News revamped its mobile Web site to an adaptive system and saw a 20 percent increase in viewership after mere months.

The move to mobile-first shows a pursuit to please smartphone users, and these positive results likely arise from Fox News? established consumer base who have discovered the site and make repeat visits. While editorial content can be a challenge to grasp on a tiny screen, Fox News executives recognize this challenge and aim to make the receptive side of content stress-free (see story).

Mobile optimization works for all news sectors.

Women?s magazine Cosmopolitan, Hearst Corporation?s most influential publication, led the move within the media giant to all-around mobile optimized Web sites, aiming for a ?post-banner world? and an overall seamless process.

Featuring native advertising components among the content marketing platform, the renovations provide both the reader and editor with a streamlined way of communication. Following the initial launch, Cosmo editors predicted to make a 20 percent increase in daily production given the change (see story).

Final Take
Caitlyn Bohannon is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York