Media

Zite, after doubling engagement, adds more publisher sections (exclusive)

Zite is boosting the number of publishing partner sections available in its digital magazine mobile app after doubling the number of content impressions since first launching the program, the company told VentureBeat.

For those not familiar with it, Zite lets you build a custom digital magazine by pulling in shared links from bookmarking and social sites, such as Twitter, Google Reader, Delicious, and Read It Later. It then builds a personalized selection of articles based on activity from your social profiles. Unlike most of its competitors, Zite learns your reading habits by giving you voting buttons for each piece of content. The idea is to give you more of what you actually want to see without all the boring and/or uninteresting stuff.

The CNN-owned company launched a publishers program back in April that allowed nine publications to gain their own sections within the app. Publishers could include optional house advertisements within those sections as well as gain user engagement analytics about those sections, as VentureBeat previously reported. [Disclosure: VentureBeat was among the first crop of publishers to participate in the new Zite program.]

Today, Zite is adding a number of publishers to the program, including Chicago Tribune, Cult of Mac, Entrepreneur, Hearst Magazines Digital Media, International Business Times, Los Angeles Times, Macworld, PC World, and TechHive.

But readers also benefit from Zite’s publisher sections. No matter how good a news-reading aggregator is at curating articles, sometimes you just want to read content from a specific publication. The problem with this is that the various publications rarely have any consistency with its user interface, which can sometimes deter people from bothering to navigate to the publication on a mobile device. With Zite’s publisher sections, you can kind of do both. The company made it very clear to me that it can still push Zite users to a publisher’s original site.

“When we first started the publisher program, we were committed to maintaining momentum, which I think we’re able to do by offering a nice mix of web and other news media content through the Zite reader,” Zite VP of Business Development Martin Stoddart said in an interview with VentureBeat.

In addition to doubling content impressions, Zite also said the number of click-throughs for publisher section house ads (at the bottom of articles) are up to three percent higher.