Built with responsive design for iOS and Android devices, the updated Guardian app features a more visual style and allows readers to tailor content by choosing the sections and topics that appear on the home screen. Users can also create alerts to follow particular journalists, stories or football (soccer) teams.
On the advertising side, the app includes a new mid-page display unit within stories and an interactive interstitial ad that appears after every five swipes while browsing content. There’s also a “header” unit that runs across the top of articles.
“We expect those to be the three main revenue drivers for us,” said Nick Hewat, commercial director for Guardian News & Media in a video interview about the app posted on YouTube by BrandRepublic.
With new and larger ad formats and a slicker user experience overall, the Guardian aims to attract more high-level brand advertisers. Last year, the U.K.-based news publishers also launched Guardian Labs to work with marketers on producing branded content for its digital properties.
To help boost interaction, the new app incorporates Guardian Witness, its crowd-sourcing platform that allows users to contribute to stories with pictures and comments. In time for the World Cup, it also features new tools for displaying football data, matches, live blogs, goal alerts and other features.
In addition to the free version, the Guardian also offers an ad-free option that includes daily crosswords and specially curated content for 2.49 pounds ($4.16) a month.