Strategy: Is it Time to Go Mobile-First?
Publishers, advertisers, marketers and brands have all been bandying the idea of adopting a ‘mobile-first’ strategy about for a couple of years now. Small wonder when you consider the fact that every day, more mobile devices are purchased than babies are born.
USA Today Goes Mobile-first with ‘The Q’
USA Today recently went mobile-first with its new NFL site, The Q. This may not exactly represent the tectonic shift towards mobile that some industry insiders have been anticipating. But what’s notable about The Q is that with it, the national American news daily seems to have drilled down on the concept of what mobile-first really is.
Up until now, most mobile optimization has basically consisted of publishers trying to cram a desktop experience into a smartphone. Conversely, stories appearing on The Q, whether original or aggregated, will range from between just 20 to 50 words on average.
Mobile-First for Sports and Entertainment Content
Makes sense. Sports content is like entertainment content in that it moves at a relentlessly fast pace. Much of it comes in small byte-sized packets, which makes it ideally suited for being covered within the condensed confines of the mobile-first format. Spin Media has already found a measure of success in this area, with its mobile-first celeb and entertainment site, Hearts & Foxes.
Mobile-First or Platform Agnosticism?
But is mobile-first really the way to go for all publishers and content producers? Maybe, or maybe not.
“Obviously consumption of content using mobile devices is exploding particularly for the younger demographic,” said Spin Media CEO Steve Hansen, speaking to Digiday. “But publishers need to understand that great content needs to be device and platform agnostic.”
“We need to build for all screen sizes,” agrees Mashable CTO Robyn Peterson, also speaking to Digiday. “In design, there are no more ‘hero sizes.’ We must design for a spectrum of resolutions and pixel densities.”
This is especially true when you consider that the term “mobile” can refer to any number of devices of different sizes and different types including smartphones, tablets, and soon – wearables like Google Glass and Samsung’s Gear watch.
However Jon Steinberg, president of listicle-crazed media upstart BuzzFeed strongly disagrees.
“Mobile-first is not enough. Mobile should be all you care about.”
What do you think? Is it time to adopt a mobile-first content and design strategy, or is it better to be platform and device agnostic? Leave a comment below with your opinion.
Photo Credit: Mobile First?/shutterstock
As the Director of Communication at Screenpush, blogger, journalist and copywriter Alex Baker helps brands connect with their target demographic in the digital space. Although he is generally pretty up-to-date about the latest developments in social media marketing he needs to remember to update his Twitter more often. You can find Alex on Google+.
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