A note on the transitory nature of digital content: Last week, when it was announced that the News Corp-owned Sunday tabloid News of the World would be shutting up shop amid allegations of phone hacking and other problems, the website — previously behind a paywall — went free. Now it has shut down for good, along with the newspaper’s iPad app.
If you go to the newspaper’s website now, it shows a fragment of the last front cover, with the words “Thank you & goodbye.” It also has a link to a page that lets you order a copy of the last edition, along with a reprint of the first edition, for £2.95 ($4.67). Any links that you may have had saved for specific stories now redirect here.
Meanwhile, the iPad app, which was still available last week, has now disappeared altogether from the App Store.
A spokesperson for News International confirmed the app has now been pulled.
The publisher does not have any comment on whether it will be re-releasing the app or any of NOTW’s past content at any point.
Given the domain registrations that News International now owns for sunonsunday domains, some have speculated that it may be planning on making its other red-top tabloid in the UK into a seven-day-a-week operation.
That might end up being one home for the NOTW archive, as it looks like it might become the home for another part of NOTW, its Fabulous magazine supplement. That magazine always had its own URL, although that is now down for “essential maintenance.”
Update: In answer to a reader’s question below, and to spell it out, it looks like those digital assets are gone for now but could well reappear again, and in a different guise.