- BBC News, a unit of the British Broadcasting Corp., plans to create progressive web apps (PWAs) for its features sites to cater to the majority of readers who view its content on a mobile device. Worklife, a section of its website that covers the changing work-life balance of people worldwide, is the first section with a PWA and is sponsored by investment company Merrill, per an announcement shared with Mobile Marketer.
- PWAs, which use the latest web technology to deliver app-like experiences to mobile users who wish to access content without downloading an app, give BBC's advertisers greater viewability and flexibility in the creation of sponsored mini-verticals. BBC's PWAs also provide quicker loading times, offline reading capability and more screen space for easier viewing and a greater overall reader experience, per its announcement.
- BBC's Worklife aims to connect with millennials who will by next year make up the majority of the global workforce. Topic sections include "Worklife 101" that features 101 people, ideas and things redefining society's working world. Worklife on Aug. 5 will launch "Generation Project," a three-month series that will look at how generations interact inside and outside the workforce, per BBC's announcement.
BBC's adoption of PWAs aims to improve the user experience for mobile readers, especially as younger adults consume more media on smartphones and tablets. PWAs have several key advantages over apps, including easy accessibility on many mobile devices, no need for a separate download and support for native device features such as push notifications, offline accessibility and faster updates. For advertisers, they promise greater reach.
Improved speed is critical for a content provider like BBC, which found in a study that it lost 10% of users for every additional second its site took to load. That finding supports research from Google, the main backer of open-source PWA technology. The search giant found that 53% of users will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load, causing missed marketing and sales opportunities.
PWAs are steadily growing in popularity as brands cope with the frustrations of developing standalone apps that struggle to make money, are often difficult to find on app stores and require expensive maintenance. Lancôme, Lilly Pulitzer, Luxmart, Tinder, Pinterest and Flipkart are among the brands that have rolled out PWAs aimed at improving the mobile experience for customers.
Twitter adopted a PWA method of using the same code for its mobile apps and the desktop site that it released last week, making them more manageable and uniform among a variety of devices. "The techniques and technologies we've used on the new Twitter.com mean you only download and run code when it's needed," per a company blog post. For example, a mobile user won't download a sidebar that's visible on the website's home page or download app "settings" pages until they want to perform a task like updating a display name. However, those functions are available to mobile users when they're requested, demonstrating how PWAs can be easily customized to cater to individual user's preferences.