American business news platform Quartz today launched an iOS app that reflects current trends in ‘thin media’, as discussed in our recent blog post. Instead of simply relaying news stories to the reader, the app engages them in a ‘chat’ about the latest headlines.
Headlines appear as text messages, as if you’re receiving updates from a knowledgeable friend. The app then provides prompts for you to find out more about the story, or move on to the next headline. Choose to read more, and you receive further text message details, as well as gifs and emoji that help to illustrate the story.
You can set up the app to send notifications of big stories to your lock screen, including a 'Markets Haiku' that summarises the day’s financial moves in haiku form. A feature also enables Apple Watch users to receive market news in the form of an emoji.
The app is precision-tooled to appeal to time-poor, smartphone-addicted millennials, but more significantly, it acknowledges the shift in consumer behaviour away from traditional websites and social media platforms towards messaging apps. Recent data predicts two billion consumers will be utilising such apps by 2018 (eMarketer, 2015), and will increasingly desire similarly conversational, intimate, friendly interactions with media and marketing. The Quartz app sets a new benchmark for how those sorts of interactions can work for brands.
For more on mobile innovation in media and marketing, see our State of Mobile: Winter 2016 report.