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The Telegraph upgrades app to deliver news to a mobile-savvy audience

The online arm of famed British broadsheet The Telegraph has rolled out a redesigned mobile application that contains a bevy of features to optimize mobile news consumption for its half-million readers.

The app, simply named The Telegraph after its parent publication, is meant to serve as a modular companion to the newspaper?s print and tablet editions. The relaunch features significant upgrades to the app?s user interface, including an updated design, a top stories channel, push notifications and a customizable menu that users can edit based on their own news preferences 

?Allowing consumers to pick and choose their news feeds is a critical feature in the one on one engagement that users are demanding from their news apps,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis. ?Consumers also insist that their news outlet of choice notify them when something important is happening to maintain a constant, robust presence on their mobiles, and so that they aren't required to look up any important news, but are always informed.

?It does challenge the publisher to publish news articles quickly rather than once a day as news happens real time so that their users aren't missing the important items.?

Small screen for a huge paper
The app is an attempt by the storied UK publication, which has been publishing its print edition The Daily Telegraph for over 150 years, to further modernize its offerings. 

In an era when most are getting at least some portion of their editorial consumption through mobile channels, The Telegraph app comes as a welcome addition to the paper?s paid subscribers. The portability and convenience of reading on the phone screen? an amenity that even the most hardened of Luddites are warming to? increases subscribers? access to the publication and allows it to compete on a plane where most of them are spending their time. 

The Telegraph app's new design

Accessibility is at the forefront of the redesign. The app is now free, where before it was available only to paid subscribers, and the user experience is more intuitive, allowing users to navigate to and through stories more easily while also making access to related articles as simple as a swipe of a finger.

The app?s push notifications feature allows The Telegraph to consistently confront users with opportunities for editorial engagement, which is increasingly becoming an elective process as mobile users find their news through more granular means such as social media. 

Shifts in targeting
The app may be a play at a younger audience for The Telegraph, which, being such a prestigious newspaper, has an older audience that is not as quick to change established habits. The modern design, customizability and focus on photo and video content indicate at least an awareness of a younger demographic. 

The app is thoroughly customizable

The relaunch of The Telegraph app comes at a troubled time for print journalism and newspapers specifically. A recent report from PricewaterhouseCoopers suggests that the newspaper industry is now jumping into the digital space headfirst, with the next few years critical to whether traditional print brands can survive in a new era of decentralized news consumption (see story). 

The Gothamist began providing advertisers with a social media button that leads readers to its Snapchat page, driving visibility for brands on the popular social media platform (see story). 

?Consumers that like print subscriptions are not always analagous to the online subscribers, thus its important to treat the two outlets as separate entities that have their own separate business model to ensure the publishers are getting optimal viewership out of their users,? Ms Troutman said. ?For online viewers, the decision of how much online content they give for free before they charge is important. 

?News outlets have a variety of strategies to confront the smaller outlets without a tremendous amount of overhead, such as giving their content out for free and relying on advertising to pay for their publishing,? she said. ?Larger media outlets, like The New York Times or The Wall Street Journal, with millions of viewers and high overhead, will give a certain amount of free views on content before requiring a subscription per month.?