MOLINE, Ill. – When TownNews.com decided the time was right to enter the news delivery app market, Brad Ward, the company's CEO, knew it had to be different and better. Taking cues from popular social media destinations, TownNews.com's soon-to-be-released mobile app—BLOX Now—eschews traditional news app design in favor of a streamlined river of community news and events.
"Most news apps overload users with too much information and complicated navigation, so they end up ignored or immediately uninstalled," said Brad Ward, CEO of TownNews.com. "With the BLOX Now app, we're taking a different path by presenting local news as a single, continuously-scrolling stream. It's easier to browse and increases engagement by appealing to users' fear of missing out."
In beta testing, the BLOX Now app's single-stream concept yielded impressive results when compared to a conventional news app: video plays grew 986 percent, session duration and average daily users each increased 120 percent, and user sessions jumped 140 percent.
According to Susan Bell, product manager for BLOX Now, the unique approach extends to the app's user experience.
"BLOX Now doesn't look like your typical, vanilla news app," Bell said. "In response to real-world usability testing, we've focused on refining our design and user experience, with big images, easy navigation, and a beautiful interface."
"And it doesn't just look fantastic. Content in BLOX Now is optimized for super-fast loading on smartphones and mobile devices," Bell added.
BLOX Now apps are managed using BLOX CMS, TownNews.com's flagship content management platform, simplifying maintenance and reducing costs for online publishers affiliated with the company's ecosystem.
"Keeping your BLOX Now app updated is virtually automatic," Ward said. "Using simple rulesets, content that you're already creating for your news or broadcast media site can be combined with content contributed by members of your community to feed your app."
TownNews.com also helps clients coordinate with Google and Apple's app stores.
"If needed, we can assist with the distribution of our partners' branded apps to the app stores, leaving them more time to do what they do best—create great content," Ward said.
"Our goal is to make rolling out a cutting-edge app a turnkey process for our clients."
For more information, visit: http://TownNews.com/BLOXNow.
TownNews.com was founded as the International Newspaper Network (I.N.N.) in 1989 to help community newspapers with developing technology. Today, our integrated digital publishing and content management solutions power some of the most distinguished media organizations in the industry. More than 1,700 newspaper, broadcast, magazine and web-native publications rely on us for their web, print, mobile and social media products. Our complete solutions suite includes add-ons for data management, content exchange, over-the-top (OTT) video, business directory and more, helping you boost revenue, improve efficiency and grow your audience. Lee Enterprises (NYSE: LEE) of Davenport, Iowa, became majority partner in 1996. We are headquartered in Moline, IL.