As expected, since it told us in January, The Financial Times has unveiled its iPhone app on Apple’s mobile store. Whilst the app is free, it ties in with FT.com’s mixed access model, which encourages free sign-ups (to better target ads) and premium subscriptions (to make immediate money)…
— Non-registered readers can only access three free articles per month.
— Registering for free allows another seven articles to be read, plus gives access to stock portfolios that FT.com web members may have created.
— Premium subscribers get unlimited articles plus the Lex column.
But FT also hopes to sell in-app ads – geo-targeted and “interactive”; Siemens is the exclusive launch sponsor for the first month. Product manager Stephen Pinches, in the release: “Combining the FT.com access model with a great platform for our premium advertisers means we will instantly see a financial return on the investment.”
FT.com publisher Rob Grimshaw gave me a demo of the app last month. It has much in common with Bloomberg’s popular business news app, coming with lots of pretty stock charts (the kind of fancy stuff that can’t be done on the recently relaunched m.ft.com site) – but, unlike Bloomberg’s white-on-black, FT’s app packs its trademark pink pages. Rotating to landscape mode switches the view from stock data to a map of global market info, and the app dynamically resizes text without pinching to resize its entire contents.
Though FT.com overhauled its homepage in a “rolling” redesign in November, story pages still aren’t benefiting from the new look.