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Hell on Wheels: Mastering Mobile Content Distribution

By December 12, 2016 March 27th, 2018 No Comments

Reading mobile content can be hell on wheels. Meaning, the experience is pretty bad.

I personally abandon many websites (and other content) because they aren’t optimized for mobile viewing. The content is either difficult to read on my phone, or it loaded so slowly that I lost interest.

About 25 percent of people actually read Tech Image content on their mobile devices, and we know the experience is good because we developed a mobile site. But most sites have not made it a priority, despite the fact that mobile reading has overtaken desktop reading.

According to Mary Meeker’ s official 2015 Internet Trends Report, 51 percent of all U.S adults spend time on mobile devices. That’s compared to 42 percent for desktops and laptops. You’d think this would encourage more mobile content optimization, but instead, there’s a lot of complacency.

Honestly, I thought the mobile consumption statistic would be higher. I work on my desktop about 75 percent of the time, yet I read the vast majority of the content that I consume on mobile devices like my phone and tablet. Despite reporting lower numbers than I anticipated, mobile content consumption is quickly growing, and PR and marketing pros need to be aware that all the content they produce will likely be viewed on mobily.

That’s why it’s important to be familiar with the two companies making it easier for both publishers and readers to serve and read mobile content.

AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages)

Google announced in August that it is rolling it’s AMP project (Accelerated Mobile Pages) into all web content, beyond just news publishers.

Accelerated Mobile Pages is a Google-backed project that will load pages on mobile devices approximately 10X faster. Now anyone publishing content on the web can create AMP pages, eliminating frustration and attracting more people to your content.

Facebook Instant Articles

Another feature is Facebook Instant Articles, which launched about a year ago. Instant articles allows content to load 10X faster (yes, just like AMP), and many large media companies have jumped on board to improve their reader’s experience. But several media giants are holding out. The Wall Street Journal, CBS, ESPN, NPR, the Financial Times and Bloomberg are all either testing the feature or staying away.

According to this article in Digiday, Bloomberg is more interested in developing its own fast platform rather than turn over its content to Facebook. The media with big audiences of their own see Facebook as a competitive publishing platform, but anyone trying to grow their audience should check it out.

I look forward to the day when the pipe is so large that I’ll be able to stream petabyte size data through my smallest device. Until then, we’re using AMP and Instant Articles to improve the reader’s experience and encourage mobile content development. Now get out of your office and do something productive!

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