More news apps coming to a phone near you: The Evening Standard and hyperlocal portal LocalPeople, from the Standard’s former owners DMGT, are both launching mobile apps.
The Evening Standard app, which is launching later this month, will be available across “all major smartphone platforms”. At launch, it will be free to download and will run on an ad-supported model, according a spokesperson from the developers, Handmark.
The app initially will concentrate on the “most desired content” from the print edition of the newspaper, says a release. In other words, no indication yet of how or when supplemental info such as real estate or event listings will fit into the mix.
The Evening Standard app will utilise a relatively new but increasingly common feature of automatically updating so that people can read the most recent content when offline. The app also ticks the social networking box: users can share articles on Facebook, Twitter and del.icio.us. Readers can also design their own news feeds around particular subjects.
Handmark has worked on mobile apps for other newspapers including the Wall Street Journal. The spokesperson says it hasn’t revealed any numbers on downloads for individual newspaper apps, but as a whole the company has had 750,000 downloads of its apps in the month of January alone and serves 250 million ads across them every month.
Ironically, the listings info that the Standard app will be lacking, at least in its first iteration, may end up getting presented in nines in another new app from the paper’s former owners. Localpeople, a portal that aggregates a collection of hyperlocal sites across the southern part of England, is launching its own free mobile app for Apple devices, tomorrow.
This move will help further DMGT in its strategy to target local advertising. In an interview with paidContent:UK last year, Roland Bryan, the strategy director for DMGT division AN Digital, said he believed the local ad market could be worth up £2.8 billion.
Localpeople has 70 sites so far in beta and says that in its first six months of operation has generated over 30,000 pieces of content among them. As for coverage, it claims to have reached 25 percent of local online households in catchment areas served in January. It is this content that will be the basis of the app, which will focus on local news and information, submitted by users, on area restaurants, bars, hotels, tradesmen, shops and other services.