Forbes looks to Snapchat for inspiration to boost mobile engagement | M&M Global

Forbes looks to Snapchat for inspiration to boost mobile engagement

Forbes Media has looked to Snapchat to help guides its new mobile web experience, as it looks to introduce a “faster” and “more engaging” approach to storytelling.

Forbes mobile screenshots

The new format is based on Progressive Web App technology, championed by Google, and claims to offer faster load times, app-like navigation and highly visual content.

It will be introduced in a phased manner, starting with users who click through from a Google Amp article, followed by readers who come through social media, and then, finally, rolling out the site to all mobile users.

Forbes has been trialling the new platform in beta for several months, and claims that, during the tests, engagement doubled for ‘power’ readers and tripled for ‘casual’ readers.

“We’ve completely overhauled our approach to product innovation so that we can better respond to the way our readers are consuming content and address the rapid changes in the marketplace,” said Salah Zalatimo, senior vice president of product and technology at Forbes Media

“This new mobile site is our first major step in optimising our storytelling capabilities, and it’s creating a better, faster and more engaging experience for Forbes readers.

“The launch of this new PWA marks the culmination of a year-long organisational transformation Forbes has undergone to become a product-driven company.  We’ve been able to quickly iterate on this new product to gather input and alignment from all stakeholders – readers, journalists, and advertisers,” he added.

Speaking to M&M Global last year, Forbes chief product officer Lewis DVorkin said the new mobile web experience will change the way in which the publisher sells ads, with experimentation into time-based advertising and changes to the ways it segments its audience.

He also revealed that Forbes is looking to build a team of individuals to “straddle the line” and coordinate both editorial and commercial parts of the business, which will now use the same Content Management System.

“There is no such thing as church and state anymore – I call it transparency. The church and state was a façade to make people feel better about themselves. Twenty years ago, when you had a page or a department, why do you think that department was there? Because the advertiser wanted an ad to put next to a page. If there was no ad, there would be no department! End of story,” he said.

“Transparency is key. No one can buy their way into a Forbes editorial story, you can’t do that. You can buy your placement, but you can’t dictate what that content is going to be.”

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