It’s Not You, It’s Them: The Debacle Of Mobile News Websites
Users are catching on to the fact that the inexcusable, atrocious load times for mobile news pages are not because their wireless carrier or their phone. It is because the publishers cannot find the balance between user experience and advertising. The New York Times article today, The Cost Of Mobile Ads On 50 News Websites, is a real low point for the publishing industry. It makes us angry because it is wasting people’s time.
We all get that advertising is a part of the publishing business. New publications have to serve two masters: the reader and the advertiser. Today, when it comes to reading the news on a mobile phone, the reader is getting the very short end of the stick. It is really frustrating that it does not have to be this way.
The reality is this: There is a lack of technical knowhow inside the publishing world. That has to be the case or else there is no way these figures would be allowed. Advertisers should be alarmed because it looks really bad for their brand and I don’t think the best tech minds are currently sitting at digital agencies or publishers or ad tech – they are at Google, Facebook, Twitter, Spotify and Uber. So that is why we have landed here. If I was running mobile pages that took 30 seconds to load, I would shut the company down until we fixed it. Its a massive F you to the readers.
Boston.com: 16.3 megabytes/30 seconds for ONE page to load.
LA Times: 6.2 megabytes/12 seconds for ONE page to load.
WHAT IS GOING ON????? This is crazy and as a reader I feel totally dissed.
So, Facebook is a great way to find articles you want to read. They are really stuck at the moment because even though they are doing such a great job of putting relevant stories into our newsfeed, the speed at which the stories load is absolutely abysmal and it is not there fault but users think that it is. They have offered to host new content with a tool called “Instant Articles”. A lot of people think this is a play to own the insights and advertising around it and there might be avenues for that but it is really because we are in crisis mode as industry because the load times for news pages are absolutely appalling. To a point where I think it could dramatically impact overall readership on mobile phones.
Here at worknews.io , we face a similar issue. We essentially put a layer of efficiency tools over existing news. So the last step for our users is to actually read the article. They are faced with pop ups, X cancel buttons so small that they are often tricked into clicking on an ad and the worst part which is slow loading pages which wastes their time. We hate time wasting and trying to do all we can to alleviate this.
If you would like to discuss how we are approaching this problem, here are some ways:
– The worknews.io 14 day trial subscription to get started now
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