Mobile

News junkies turning to apps over the web for their daily fixes

UPDATE 3/21/2012: We’ve updated this story with the correct name of Localytics.

As our culture shifts from a desktop-based paradigm to a mobile one, news junkies are leading the trend with their consumption habits.

New data from app analytics firm Localytics show that news readers are more engaged on mobile apps than on websites and that they are more likely to return to a news app than to a news site.

Data from Nielsen showed that around 70 percent of casual news readers went to a given news site one or two times each month, and less than 10 percent of readers would visit a news site 10 or more times in a month.

By contrast, Localytics found that 29 percent of news readers will use a mobile news app at least once a month — a much smaller figure than the 70 percent of mainstream web-based news readers. However, Localytics also found that 24 percent of news readers would launch that news app more than 10 times in a month.

These news hounds who download and keep returning to their mobile news apps aren’t the casual readers Nielsen is tracking. Rather, they’re fans of a news brand (for example, the New York Times or Washington Post), and they use the apps for news discovery very much in the same way they would do if they had a physical newspaper subscription.

And for news publications, this means a whole new set of goals for use and engagement on digital properties, Localytics points out. Rather than pure traffic, the firm’s blog says, publications should be shooting for high session times, a large number of articles read, and lots of app relaunches on each mobile device.

Image courtesy of Goodluz, Shutterstock


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