One user might read an issue, bookmark a few pages, take notes, and even link their Facebook and Twitter accounts so they can share articles with people within their social networks. But when he or she logs out of the app and the next user picks it up, they’ve got to create a Reader Account if they want to do anything more than just read.
The current version of the BE app doesn’t ask readers for any demo info, but the in-app traffic patterns of the users alone will be valuable. If the app knows which Reader Accounts frequent which sections, it can serve more relevant advertising for that reader. If it asks for more demo info, it might discover that the young adults of the family are finding as much value in certain sections as their parents. The possibilities are endless.
2. Browser – The magazine cover may attract the casual passerby who finds him or herself intrigued by the cover photo or a snappy headline, but the table of contents is where any real reader is going to find the “meat” of their favorite magazine. In an instant, the browser function in the BE app delivers the goods up front. This function deconstructs the magazine down to its bare elements of article pages, photos, videos, ads, and bookmarks, with an extra personal touch.
The article pages are presented as a clean view of what the page looks like, complete with text and/or images. Readers can see how many pages of text a story has and decide if they’re in a position to engage in such a heavy read at the moment or choose to watch a related video instead.
The photos are a real surprise and look somewhat like a black “hall of fame” when you’re just scrolling through them. In a small business publication, the quality of the photography isn’t a selling point and, therefore, is often overlooked. But on the iPad, it’s impossible to ignore the effort that’s gone into making these images a key part of the experience. What’s ingenious is that if you’re a visual person and you find yourself going directly to this view first, the photo captions link directly to the story. The videos are presented in the same way.
Apple’s iAd initiative is going to contribute to advertisements becoming significant experiences of their own within apps, which makes it fitting for ads to also have a separate section in the browser view.
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