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Huffington Post UK’s Facebook app clocks up 20,000 users

March 13th, 2012 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

The Huffington Post UK has clocked up 20,000 users of its Facebook app.

The social reader app was added to all pages of the UK site a fortnight ago.

It follows the launch of the Guardian and Independent’s Facebook apps, released in September.

The Huffington Post has opted for an Independent-style Facebook app, which sits within the Huffington Post UK site rather than encouraging readers to access stories within Facebook, as favoured by the Guardian.

Those who sign up for the app and agree to share some of their Facebook details will see their reading habits shared with their Facebook friends.

Carla Buzasi, editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post UK told Journalism.co.uk that there is an option to opt out.

Every time you are on a story and you don’t want that to be shared there’s a delay and you can click and stop it sharing.

The Huffington Post, which launched a UK edition on 6 July, hopes that the app will increase traffic to the UK site, which reported 5.4 million unique views in January.

Buzasi said:

We’re obviously monitoring it quite carefully. It’s a little bit to early to say at the moment but Facebook does send us a significant amount of traffic already.

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Guardian’s Facebook app delivering 1m extra hits a day

The Guardian’s Facebook app is generating almost a million extra page impressions per day, according to figures released by the news outlet and by Facebook.

Two months on from its launch at Facebook’s f8 conference in London the app has been installed by over four million users.

The news outlet also believes that the app is engaging a younger audience, as over half (56.7 per cent) of the app’s users are 24 and under and 16.7 per cent are 17 and under.

Andrew Miller, chief executive officer of Guardian Media Group, said in a statement:

As well as increasing traffic, the app is making our journalism visible to new audiences. Over half of the app’s users are 24 and under – traditionally a very hard-to-reach demographic for news organisations

The Independent, the other UK-based news outlet to launch a Facebook app following f8 on 22 September, is reporting that it has more than one million monthly active users connecting their Facebook accounts.

The integration has bumped up older articles that have gone viral through social distribution, according to the Facebook post detailing the statistics.

The news organisation found that many of the “most shared” and “most viewed” stories on the site have been from the late 1990s, “a result of the increased social virality”.

The Guardian and Independent both took a different approach when building their Facebook apps. The Guardian focused on the reading experience within Facebook, the shared reading experience for the Independent takes place on the news site.

Yahoo! News, which like the Independent integrated the app into its site, has reported that 10 million people are using the app, with Yahoo! News experiencing a 600 per cent increase in traffic coming from Facebook as a result.

People who connect to Facebook on Yahoo! read more articles than the average user, the Facebook post states.

Like the Guardian, the Washington Post built a social reader app for Facebook as a companion for its website with the social sharing taking place within Facebook. It has drawn more than 3.5 million monthly active users so far. The Facebook post states that the social reader is growing, especially among international audiences and younger readers, with 83 per cent of readers under 35 years old.

According to Facebook, the statistics released last night show that the apps do five things:

1. Show recommendations to increase engagement. Keep people engaged by prominently showing friends’ recent activity on your main pages and pages with high exit rates. When no social content is available, surface personalised recommendations based on users’ interests on Facebook and clearly explain why you’re showing each recommendation.

2. Create compelling objects. Maximise the click through rates of your stories by specifying Open Graph tags for all your articles and including compelling images, titles and descriptions. Avoid misleading images or titles to prevent your app from being marked as spam, which will negatively impact your app’s distribution in news feed.

3. Leverage your existing user base. If you have an existing site, be sure to make connecting a prominent option for existing users. And if people are already sharing your content on Facebook, consider sending referral traffic from Facebook into a flow that makes it easy for people to have a social experience on your site.

4. Make the benefits of sharing clear. Open Graph apps are designed for people that want to share. In your app, you should clearly explain how your app works and the benefits of adding your app to their timeline. Choose an approach that makes the most sense for your users, whether that’s an informative dialog, in-line marketing messaging, house ad inventory, and/or a learn more page.

5.  Keep users in control. As we’ve previously highlighted, people are more active when they are in control. In addition to the privacy controls on Facebook, we encourage you to build controls into your app that fit how people use your app.

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Guardian iPad app downloaded nearly 150,000 times in first week

October 21st, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Mobile, Traffic

The Guardian’s new iPad app has been downloaded 145,880 times since it was launched last Thursday (13 October), with more than a third of those from outside the UK.

The app is free for the first three months due to a sponsorship deal with Channel 4, after which it will cost £9.99 per month.

The Guardian also today revealed that just over a million Facebook users have installed the Guardian’s Facebook app, which was released exactly a month ago.

Since its launch at the beginning of the year, the Guardian’s iPhone app has been downloaded over half a million times; its Android app, which was launched last month, has been downloaded over a quarter of a million times.

Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of Guardian News & Media, said in a statement:

Since launching last week, the new Guardian iPad edition has already been downloaded over 145,000 times. This number of downloads in a week is a fantastic achievement, and shows the appetite among our readers to access our content in new, digital ways. This is our most successful app launch to date, and an important milestone as we continue to evolve into a digital-first news organisation.

Statistics breakdown

iPad app downloads
Total: 145,880
UK: 85,018
US: 29,082
Res of the wold: 31,780

Guardian iPhone app
Since launching in January this year, the app has been downloaded over 570,000 times, with nearly 100,000 users going on to take out subscriptions.

Guardian Android app
This launched last month, on 7 September, and since then the app – which is free and ad-funded – has been downloaded over 250,000 times.

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Guardian predicts 1m installs of Facebook app in first month

October 20th, 2011 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

The Guardian expects this weekend will see the millionth person install its new Facebook app, exactly a month since it was launched.

The app, which allows Facebook users to see what their friends are reading after a single sign-in when they agree to share their viewing habits, was launched on 22 September at the London leg of Facebook’s F8 conference.

Content sales and marketing director at the Guardian Chris Lawson gave the prediction at the newspaper’s Media Guardian Changing Advertising Summit 2011, which is underway in London.

Less than two weeks after launch, on 5 October, the Guardian reported 129,000 app installs generating over 600,000 story reads.

That figure is likely to grow significantly when the Guardian release up-to-date statistics, which it plans to do in the next few days.

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‘We wanted to make ourselves more Facebookey’, says Guardian

September 23rd, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Social media and blogging, Traffic

The Guardian and Independent are two of the first news sites to build a new breed of Facebook apps, which were unveiled at the f8 conference yesterday (Thursday, 22 September).

Here is director of Facebook’s platform partnerships Christian Hernandez explaining how the apps and the new ‘recommend bar’ work.

Facebook’s Christian Hernandez on the launch of the Guardian and Independent Facebook apps by journalismnews

News sites will be watching to see whether the new apps result in a jump in Facebook referrals to the Guardian and the Independent.

Outlets will also be keen to discover whether Facebook users prefer the Independent and Yahoo News approach of the social engagement happening on the news sites, or whether the Guardian, the Washington Post and the Daily have the winning formula, with the experience happening within Facebook.

The Guardian’s theory is that Facebook users like the experience of being on Facebook so rather than direct readers away, they want them to explore the Guardian within the platform.

Head of digital engagement at the Guardian Meg Pickard told Journalism.co.uk:

We wanted to make ourselves more Facebookey. We also know that if people come to the Guardian via Facebook they often bounce back to Facebook see what else a friends are recommending.

She said despite the Guardian’s being an app within Facebook it is incorrect to think most users will access it as they would a smartphone app.

The starting point is your friend’s timeline, not the app.

The single opt-in to the app – where users agree to share everything they are reading – is an interesting development and both the Independent and Guardian have been quick to assure users they have full control.

Pickard said:

You might be happy for friends to see that you’ve read an article on tarte citron but less comfortable with a public note to say you have read an article called “my husband is a cross-dresser”, so you can quickly click the cross to hide that from your friends.

She explained conversations between the Guardian and Facebook took place throughout the summer with the news organisation’s in-house developers building the app, making the most of the open technologies.

We’ve got our open API, Facebook has this open graph.

The Independent has taken a different approach – its app encourages Facebook user engagement on its site rather than within a user’s personal profile on the social network.

Here’s head of audience and content development at the Independent Jack Riley explaining more on the soon-to-be-released app:

Jack Riley from the Independent discusses the newspaper’s new Facebook app by journalismnews

 

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