Q&A: New ways of reading the news with Chrome extensions

Could greater integration of a news website with the features of your chosen browser encourage you to read and view more of what it publishes? The Financial Times and the Independent have both developed “extensions” for Google’s browser Chrome.

By installing the Independent’s extension, which can be accessed from an icon in your browser toolbar, you will be given alerts when new content is published within the topic areas you’ve selected; the ability to share these articles with social sites from within the browser; and be able to search the title’s online news archive.

The FT’s extension has been built in-house it seems, but the Independent’s was produced in conjunction with the title by idiomag, the firm behind personalised publishing technology and music magazine interviewed here. We put a couple of questions to Andrew Davies, co-founder of idiomag about the potential of extensions for news sites:

What do you think the best feature of the Independent’s Chrome Extension is for users?
The ability to subscribe to the topics you like. We will be developing this in the future to be much more granular, by running the feeds through idio’s publishing platform first.

Do you think news readers are becoming more accustomed to this way of reading/browsing news?
Yes – push notifications are accepted in most new media formats, and this brings it right into the browser. There is a demonstrated demand for instant news, and this speeds up the process even more.

We are developing extensions for other newspapers, here and in the US. But our main business is a publishing platform that enables publishers and brands to better structure, deliver, personalise and monetise their content, using best-of-breed semantic technology and social integration.

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