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Inside Forbes: What Mobile Means for Journalism and My Restless Nights

As the founder and CEO of a startup, VC’s would always ask me, “What keeps you up at night?” It was a tedious question with only one honest answer: raising more money from you guys. Four years later, as chief product officer for a major news brand, I would answer the same question with a single word full of complexities for the future of journalism — mobile. Finding more funding, though difficult, was a well-traveled path. Transitioning to a mobile universe is a new challenge, and one that gets more vexing by the day.

The Growing Mobile Audience: In the good-problem-to-have department, our mobile audience is racing ahead — onsite and offsite. On Forbes.com, 25% of our 33 million monthly users (Omniture) access the site with smartphones and tablets. In August, mobile visits were up 200% from a year earlier. Perhaps most telling, Facebook visits from consumers using its mobile app soared 1,000% in the same period. Offsite, we attracted an audience on Flipboard last month that was up 400% from a year ago, rivaling our FORBES magazine subscription base. Driven by Android adoption, our flips were up 38% from the prior month, at 22 per reader.

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