Between the duopoly and ever-changing ad tech, independent digital publishers have a lot to worry about.
However, digital-publishing platform Flipboard is looking to get rid of some of the grunt work with a new self-service program for publishers of all sizes. It emphasizes optimization for the mobile Web and highlights fast-loading sites optimized for mobile, which offer a better user experience.
The new self-service tools are intended to make it easier for publishers to join Flipboard, surface their content for potential followers on social media and create a channel to drive traffic to their own sites.
To sign up for the self-service tools, publishers have to submit an RSS feed for Flipboard to review. On receiving approval, their content will then be index and start appearing as related topics in users’ “Smart Magazines” on the platform.
New and existing publishers can add, edit and manage feeds via the same self-service dashboard.
Flipboard’s new feature, Reader Enhanced Display, gives more visibility to fast-loading sites by distinguishing sites optimized for mobile with a “Red Bolt” performance mark. To qualify for the Red Bolt performance mark, the mobile site must load in one second or less. It can’t redirect readers to other sites or employ disruptive ad formats.
According to Flipboard, sites optimized using Google’s AMP technology for fast-loading pages will most likely meet these standards.
The Red performance mark launches with hundreds of publishers already on board, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Verge, Axios and Esquire.
The move to highlight mobile-optimized sites comes as Web traffic from mobile devices contributes a larger share of audience for many publishers, with Flipboard playing a substantial role.
According to data from Parse.ly, the digital publishing platform was the fourth-biggest source of referrals to sites in its network, while Mashable claims that mobile traffic from Flipboard has increased tenfold recently.
Digital magazine platform Issuu announced that publishers will have a new way to monetize their digital pubs with the addition of digital sales, including subscription and single-issue sales. The addition of digital circ revenue marks an expansion of Issuu’s monetization model, previously limited to advertising and ecommerce.
Issuu is launching the new sales channel, Issuu Digital Sales, with help from Stripe.