Most newsrooms know that mobile is growing fast. Everyone can see mobile usage (phones and tablets) creeping up on their desktop numbers. For example, The Guardian recently said mobile visits hit 35%, outpacing desktop at certain hours of the day. A growing handful of media brands — including where I work at Breaking News — have watched mobile soar over desktop in audience. And we’ve all seen the stories about the unprecedented growth of tablets, the fastest-growing product in the history of consumer electronics.
Soon, mobile will be the primary way people get their news.
If that’s really the case, then why isn’t mobile dominating journalists’ discussions on Twitter? Packing sessions at journalism conferences? Sitting at the top of “most popular” story lists on journalism blogs?
I have a few theories:
Cory Bergman is the general manager of NBC News’ Breaking News and points to social media’s ease of use; the overall newness of mobile as a form factor for delivering news; and the potential threat mobile poses for advertising dependent organizations among other factors that many news organization have been slow to enter mobile.
Read through for his explanations of each.
See also Jason Pontin’s great article from last year in Technology Review about why publishers don’t like apps. This isn’t to say they don’t like mobile. Instead, Pontin explains why TR ditched their native app in favor of HTML5.
Will we reach a point where journalists start designing for mobile-first instead of mobile-option?