Mythbusters: Dispelling Common Misconceptions About Mobile Readers
2:31PM Jun 25, 2021
long form content
We'll share some ways that we've leveraged testing and internal data here at Smart news to combat these myths and iterate on how we can best serve the smart news audience with all of the amazing content that you guys create. And we hope that you'll be able to utilize some of the information and learnings that we'll share today. As you think about your own mobile audiences and your own mobile platform strategy. Now we will leave some time at the end for questions. So if you have any questions, please feel free to drop them in the chat and we'll get to them at the end, but if you ever want to reach out to us if you want more information, you can always email us at partners at smart news.com And before we get started I would like to introduce everyone that you'll hear from today. First I'm Jody donner, I work on our partner relations team here at Smart news, I probably work with some of you in the audience, to make sure that we're optimizing your content on smart news and really just making sure that our partnership is. We in digital media so it's smart news now for about two and a half years and previously I was working audience development at Gizmodo Media Group, and Mike calm and a couple other startups. So I really think that experience has helped me, you know, understand what publishers are looking for from platforms now Genie,
morning, my name is Jamie co I'm on the US marketing team here at Smart news, managing product marketing. And so one of those responsibilities includes managing our consumer research practice, so I'm excited to walk you through some of the findings and frameworks that we have that help guide, what we do at Starbucks.
Right, Brenda. Hi everyone, I'm Brenna Crosby I'm a content associate on content team. I've been at Smart news for about a year and a half, working on pushes and new features and we can read program. Part of that five years at Apple news.
A Good morning folks Bernie Davis here, I'm the executive director of US media business development and work with Jody on our partner relations. A lot of folks in the industry know me from five years I spent Conde Nast trying to figure out what distribution meant across social platforms across mobile and across you know various other destinations. And, you know, excited to be here to chat with the OSI folks today.
Hey, thanks so much Bernie. So I'm going to kick it off with our first myth. People don't engage with long form content on mobile devices. I think this is something we all sort of believe, whether it's true or not, we think, Well, you know it's a distracted audience, you want something quick on mobile, or what we've found is that that's not necessarily always the case. You know, increasingly, we've seen the industry and even ourselves here at Smart news. Treat mobile audiences very similar to Doug from us, very distracted, moving from one story to the next and you know, not really a place to gain winners for your publication or serve them long content, and well the type of content that smart news users engaged with varies greatly. We do know that our users are spending a lot of times a day in the app, proving that they aren't that engaging with the text based content on their phones. And so we hope today that you'll, you know, take some of these stats, take a look at the things that we'll share, and understand that smart news is a place for mobile consumption of your longer pieces and we'll share how we did that, and where we feature them throughout the app a bit later in the session. Taking a step back a little bit, looking at mobile audiences as flyby audiences or distracted wasn't necessarily always the case. Way back when, in 2015, a Pew research and personal study found that users were actually twice, spending twice as much time on long form pieces on mobile versus short form pieces and they think, you know, back in the early 2010 T Mobile sort of looked at as this new frontier you know a place to capture Captivate readers and bring them back, but that has changed quite a bit. So, what happened. I think a lot has happened between 2015 and now in both the ways to deliver content to readers on mobile, and also the kinds of content that mobile readers are engaging with that they're being served, you know think short form video long form video interactive pieces scrolly Pelling listicles, the list goes on and on, and also the way to get that content to readers on mobile has expanded quite a bit, there's social media there's newsletters there's push notifications, just to name a few. And I think it can be easy to get lost in all of this, both as a content creator and also a reader and consumer of content, and it can be easy to forget what really draws readers in, And that's the story, you know, regardless of how its presented, where it's presented. If it's compelling, there is an audience for it. And so, you know, days of spending a reader spending over two minutes on one article on their phones might be long gone. That doesn't mean that all who is lost. Recent data from Axios and similar web has shown that the average time spent on news articles, is actually trending upwards. Within six months, the average time increased from about 30 and a half seconds to 31 and a half seconds. Again, This is not crazy numbers this is nothing like we saw back in 2015, but it is still an engaged audience, JR will share some information about just how engaged news consumers specifically are, and it is trending in the right direction. And when you think of this in terms of smart news. One thing that we're really proud of here is just how long our users spend in the app, on average, our users are spending about this over five hours a month in smart news. And if you use the app, you know that the majority of the content is text base, which means that clearly there's an appetite for this content with our audience, and through various testing and ideation, we found an appetite specifically for long form content and long form journalism and Brenda will share how we unlock that a little bit, and how we best serve long form content to our readers, and in doing so, we found that smart news readers see there's about a three times more engagement on those long form pieces throughout the app versus the rest of the content and again, this is when we presented the right way to the right audience which Brenda will dive into very shortly,
another data point I think is really important to discuss and show is that, you know, to according to target two out of every three visits take place on a mobile device, which makes it vital to consider your mobile audience for loyalty purposes, serving them all different types of content, including long form content. And, you know, think about them is different than maybe a desktop audience, but just as valuable, if not more valuable. And now I'm going to take a step back a little bit and hand it over to my colleague Jeannie to chat about some general trends we've been seeing through our consumer research
study. And so God just showed that quote about the global perspective and if you look more specifically at the US digital news consumer just reinforcing a similar trend here for the US population, not just in aggregate, but across age cohorts so what you're looking at is the time spent for new digital news consumers specifically following news on their smartphones. So you can see that over half the US population on the far left. 63% are actually spending at least 15 minutes following news on their smartphones with nearly half of those actually spending over 30 minutes a day specific to following news, and well not surprising, this is slightly lower for the older age cohorts as you move right. But again, Even that cohort over half of that population still spending at least 15 minutes a day. So if we tie back to that myth. I think a lot of what perpetuates the myth around mobiles that it has the perception of being seen as an on the go platform. So that certainly perpetuates the idea that people don't have the time to engage with longer form content, while on the move, but the reality is that this time spent on mobile specifically for news continues to increase, it's something that we've monitored over the last few years. And if not, because we're on the go more often if anything, as we all know during COVID When we were very much, not on the go, mobile news consumption actually increased during this time period. So again, similar to the quote that Jody just shared, the behavior is really mirroring that of desktop but if anything, your consumer is now even more reachable, their phone is always with them. So the takeaway here is that mobile is really ubiquitous platform for all content, including long form, consumers, their time on mobile is increasing, and how they look at content on mobile when it comes to news is, is no longer so different from other platforms. This platform is just becoming a staple in how they consume their information, no longer just for quick spurts, on the go, it's for all types of content.
Great thanks Jeannie so clearly it's safe to say that there's a large appetite for consuming news on mobile, but now how do we at Smart news breakthrough the seemingly infinite amount of information that readers have on mobile and also that we have in our app. To highlight the important long form journalism, you all are creating. Now I'm gonna hand it off to Brenna, who will talk about how we approach this internally at Smart news, and eventually found the place for this long form content. So, this probably looks really familiar. Most of us spend our weekend morning, endlessly scrolling through our phones. However, we noticed an engagement that during the time. So just over a year ago we launched the weekend Read program where we tested sending readers longer stories during this debt period in order to highlight some of the best long form pieces, delivered to our readers when and where they wanted it. So as an aggregator we have tons of content available, and it was important for us to work with our publishers to discover and feature great long form pieces that maybe just didn't get enough attention during the busy week they knew cycle, communication with our partners helps us anticipate what big speakers they have coming, and allows us to proactively plan the weekend reads. So we experimented with what types of stories we're sending and made adjustments as we learn what works and what doesn't. We noticed the engagement dip on weekends and wanted to see if we could utilize this down period highlight different types of stories so feature articles in depth investigative pieces longer human interest stories really anything a reader may have missed during the week but have time to catch up with on the weekend. What we noticed with the introduction of weekend reads is that when presented in the right way. Our readers do engage with all important content. We landed on sending four weekend read stories each weekend, and our readers are spending three times more time with these stories than other notifications that we send. So, these are a handful of our top performing weekend reads. As you can see they're typically news driven heavier topics. We found that the lighter fun stories, didn't land as well with our readers, our top performers are typically human interest stories or tied into the headlines of the week. You'll also notice approach format. This is something that we've experimented with quite a bit, we launched the program with the label weekend reads, and we found that actually hurt engagement. So, utilizing a powerful quote or another label has performed much better for us and helping draw readers in the weekend reads program has also allowed us to spotlight a wider variety of our publishing partners. When selecting stories to push we actively work to feature lifestyle and local news partners, We can raise is given smart news another platform on which to elevate our local publishers who do great investigative long form work in order to help them reach a much larger audience. We make a concerted effort to diversify the publishers that we send from on a weekly basis. Great. Thank you, Brenda. So we know that mobile audiences are spending time with content on their phones, we have a proven track record of the smart news audience engaging with long form content when presented in the right way. And even though we know all of these things, I think there's still this tendency to believe that people only want Sugar Rush content on mobile and that they want that cricket, they want that quick story the sugary story that's really going to, you know, sort of, be quick and then they're going to move on, but is that really true. Now I'm going to share a series of headlines that probably look very familiar to most of you, you probably have clicked on many of these as I have myself. You may have even written some of these, I certainly have written many clickbait headlines in my life. And you know, that's on purpose. They are designed to get the reader to click, and that's okay. You know, I think there's, there's a mix of content users want a mix of content and for this will get a lot of clicks and sure we all like this content, occasionally, but is that all we want is that all a mobile audience is looking for is that really what they're mostly going to engage with on mobile. Now our internal data, and consumer research says a bit otherwise. So, I'm gonna hand it back over to Jeannie.
Yeah, so I'm going to share with you some information from a study we ran so I know we had a question before about when are some of the data I shared previously run this is from the same study we run a lot of these studies, quarterly, and to keep track and get a longitudinal view, and so this was live in January. We asked consumers about the various aspects of a news source that are important to them and to get a sense for the ranking of those different aspects. So, this is a list in order of one being the most important 10 being the least important. A various things, a mix of features sentiments. Things that you all have probably thought about with your own sources as well so at the top of the list. Number one is trust right I know I can trust what I read or hear in the mix we have national news, local news kind of rounding out the top three, the sentiment of feeling in the know, within the top half, then international news access across different devices that advertising is limited, has a weather forecast feeling connected to the journalist anchors and then rounding out the bottom of the list is this idea of being entertaining, you know, kind of touching on the types of headlines and content that Jodie highlighted in the previous slide. So I know for our group. This wasn't incredibly surprising in terms of the ranking. So, if you just click again really anchoring on this sort of dynamic between trust and entertainment being on opposite ends of the spectrum. Now we're gonna take a look at something slightly different, with the same data. In the same study, so if you go to the next slide dirty we actually looked at. There are other questions included that helps us to derive the actions and engagement that people associated with these different aspects of importance. And what we actually see is quite a difference so this is kind of the tension between what people say and what they do. And so trust still near the top of the list, drops down one slot to number two in importance. That's really fascinating is entertaining actually elevates into the top three moving up seven spots. So what does this mean, how do we how do we take this and I don't think it's incredibly surprising to people that maybe what people say is important and what they do doesn't necessarily match. Well, what this means is if we go to the next slide, I think it's just highlighting that you know, trust is on one spectrum, again, that they want to be able to trust the source, the type of content they're reading that it feels a little bit elevated in that way, but that entertaining is actually quite important to people as well. And I think what it's really reflecting is that our users are dynamic. And so, how we engage with those that kind of range of needs, is quite challenging, but I think in our team, we see it as an opportunity to really recognize how dynamic users needs are.
So, you know as Jeannie just shared and what we've seen is we know that the balance of content type is important both to us as smart news but also to our users and to our readers. So for us it's how do we algorithmically how do we leverage our technology to make sure that we are serving the best mix of content to our readers when and where they want it. Smart news is a mission driven company and our mission is to deliver the world quality information to the people who need it. And I think the key thing here is quality information does not just mean hard hitting serious news stories, there's quality information about a lot of topics about a variety of topics and what I consider quality content might not necessarily be the same thing that Bernie likes to read on the weekends. You know there's quality lifestyle business entertainment etc. There's a whole slew of it and as a news aggregator we're lucky in a sense that we have all this amazing content. But again, it really is up to us to figure out how best to serve that to our readers. And, you know, not only is this core to our mission, but we have also seen that increasing, you know, just simply throwing out more sugary content, if you will, throughout the app doesn't necessarily immediately lead to a huge increase in clicks or engagement, and we've discovered that it matters when we're doing this, what users are seeing this, and we actually found that you can have quite a bit of a negative impact on some of our most engaged users and most engaged news readers. So it really is again about that balance. And this is still very much so a work in progress here. But, you know, is important to us to leverage our technology to figure out how to do this and how to best serve our audience and so we're going about this in a few distinct ways. First, our content and engineering teams have worked hand in hand to both better identify and understand clickbait understand salary content, and you know this is really an example of how important it is for us to have a human guided approach to our technology and to our algorithm, our content experts come from Wall Street Journal Al Jazeera, CNN, just to name a few. And so they're experts in this space, they're experts in the content ecosystem. And we were able to leverage their expertise to better under inform our teams as well as our machine. And for our users. We've recently introduced a mechanism for them to flag content that they're not interested in which both informs the algorithm but then also allows us to take a look at that data and similar to what GT was sharing where users say that trust is the most important, But when we look at their actual reading behavior entertainment shoots out that list, we can sort of look at that and determine okay are we balancing this content, what can we lean into what should we maybe, you know, look to get more of and when we serve it and really help inform our decisions. and so all of this is really factors into us really figuring out what a healthy well balanced, inflammation diet is, and what that means, you know, we all know that fruits and vegetables are key to our health. They're important. We need them. They help us keep going, but I think we also all know that if that's all you're consuming. If you're really restricting your diet. It's not sustainable, and you might lose your mind a little bit. I know for me personally, There's nothing more satisfying than at the end of the day. When I'm tired, tough day at work, if I open a bag of Flaming Hot Cheetos, it just makes everything go away, literally the best day that you could ever imagine. And that's important, and that's the same for content to our users are dynamic, they're multifaceted and they don't want the same thing all the time, they don't always want a fruit they don't always want a vegetable. And that's okay, balance is important to any diet, including your information diet, and we'll touch on this a little bit more shortly but, you know this is an example of how one size does not fit all and what one type of audience wants to consume on mobile, isn't necessarily what all audiences want. And so what we're able to do is utilize all of this data utilize the signals we have to help determine what a well balanced information diet looks like and serve that to our users, and increase engagement. And so now I'm going to hand it off to Bernie to chat a little bit about how we think about the different types of our audience.
Blue and thank you God, driving home the point here that, you know, not all mobile audiences are like, and the kind of myth that you know more content is king, via, you know, theme I think that will resonate with us all. First, we're going to hear a little bit more from Jeannie, with a little bit more of our market research. So Jeannie, Lin.
Great. So, you know, we've talked a lot about how audiences are dynamic, they're not all the same, and want to walk you through in a little bit more detail like how exactly we think about those different groups. So this is a high level framework, that kind of allows us to think about the different audiences and their specific motivations and needs so yeah let's go into it we our research uncovered six different segments within the US population. I'm going to provide a quick summary of each of these. So the first is what we call plugged in professional so this is about 7% of the US population by our research, and these are men and women, kind of in the middle of their careers. So like, mid 30s to mid 40s or so, a lot of urban professionals, and the key thing to know about this group is that they are voracious consumers of news of every category every type of content. These are the people in our lives who just any free time that they have, they are scrolling and reading news content. It is a fundamental part of who they are and their identities, and they use many different platforms, mobile being one of their primary go twos. Yeah and this is what we would call maybe a news, news junkie. The next segment is what we called cultured connectors so this group is men and women similar age, but they have a slightly different relationship with news news is still very important to them, mobile is still a very important platform for them, but their kind of journey with news looks a little different, while as plugged in professionals are kind of looking at news any free moment they get cultured connectors are more kind of routine like they check it in the morning maybe midday during lunch and then once before bed, so the amount of time they're spending throughout the day is a little bit less, but it's still a very important part of their lives, their core motivator is that the news really lets them stay connected to their community. So whether it's their professional community, their local community. It's a way that truly allows them to feel connected to the world around them. The next group is a little bit older, maybe closer to retirement age, and has strong similarities to that first group voracious consumers of news this is something really important to them. They're going to be looking at it anytime that they have a free moment. And in terms of platforms they're a little bit later in terms of tech adoption so it's a fancy new thing, they might not necessarily be using it. But at this point, mobile is less the fancy new thing and more of a standard platform go to platform for this group as well. They make up nearly 30% of the general population so a sizable audience there. The next group is millennial Megan so this group is a bit younger and as I'm sure many of us know the way that news plays a role in your life often depends where you are in your life stage. For many people, news becomes increasingly important as you get older, so for this group. They care about the news they care a little bit more about local news, then kind of a wide swath of content categories, but their heavy digital natives, and we imagine as they get older, that they may start to shift into one of these other groups. The fifth group is what we call disenchanted and disengaged and this is a group that again still reading the news still consuming across all platforms, but every now and then they have to take a break, they're not necessarily checking it every single day, they're not necessarily even having it as part of their routine every single day, the way that culture matters do kind of three times a day. They're still engaged but maybe more on a weekly basis and a bit of it is also like they have an emotional connection to news where sometimes they just need to separate a little bit depending on what's going on in the news cycle. And then finally, our broadcast boomers, so this is a group that's
primarily defined by the variable that they're a little bit later on the tech adoption later than the subtleties of urbanites and TV is actually still their primary and most favorite form of consumption, but again, even this group still spending a sizable amount of time on, on mobile, also very motivated to stay connected to what's going on in the news cycle. So, yeah, six different groups. Not unilateral in any way and really diversity so what we're looking at now is a bit of a simplified heat map based on our data, highlighting some of the top content areas that these different groups, engage with so you can see, there are some consistencies right politics, some that harder news being of high importance, across the board. But none of these looks exactly the same, right, in terms of the areas that people find very interesting. And as I highlighted earlier. The, the amount of time that they're spending on mobile varies. They're using different platforms, so we can't treat them all the same, within these groups are obviously differences as well. But again reinforcing the idea that like audiences really are dynamic and you can't think of mobile is all one audience either there's different interests, different needs and kind of going back to that myth that audiences are like and more content is king, it's about the right content being king, and that long form opportunities do exist across the board, and across audiences.
Thank you, everyone else trying to figure out which which category they belong to right and then maybe you're a little bit of multiple categories and that's okay but, you know, the point is these are you know, very diverse, you know, groups with some distinct and needs and wants and, you know, on their on mobile devices and we're trying to make our offering work for them all. So many of us as partners as you've been hearing in particular on the content and business relations side become from publisher backgrounds, ourselves, You know, we recognize that there's a temptation to think more as more, you know we're firm believers in the old adage that content is king. You know we get excited about new, new bells and whistles, we want to roll out new features kind of unilaterally to all users and hope that they'll enjoy them, or enrich their experience with us and fortunately for us we work with teams of product development specialists machine learning engineers and data scientists. And you know, we've learned a lot throughout this process and, you know, all you know. So engagement increases have a positive net effect for readers and should be rolled out unilaterally is probably a bit of a myth that we want to debunk here, because you know that smart news across these various segments we don't necessarily know who the reader is we don't ask for a lot of personal information that does tend to turn people off. And so there are instances where initiatives and engagement tools that you know we think are going to increase engagement, I've actually had an opposite effect. And the point here is that segmentation is really important, thinking holistically about the relationship with your readers is very important because, you know, just as relationships tend to be if you're not paying attention, you could kind of have adverse effects on your relationship without even knowing it, and so one example, as a result of some testing that we were running was, you know Well, increasing the number of push notifications, increase overall engagement. We learned firsthand that we need to measure engagement over time and not classify quick engagement boosts as total wins and sort of move on. Right. And so, push notifications as you're seeing here, major driver of engagement for us, probably all of you as well. In some way shape or form, and typically more pushes with equal more engagement, right. But we found this wasn't necessarily true for all users. As our consumer research showed us trust being the number one factor in deciding like which new sources to engage with someone's visiting your site or your app in our case for the first time, chances are they don't fully trust you, yet you might need to build up some of that trust, right. So we found our overall active user base, actually slightly decreased over a six month period after introducing more pushes to all of our users, and the short term increases in traffic, kind of made us assume that more pushes were better right we found that this changes quite a bit, depending on where we are and our relationship with the user. Right, and so most loyal users don't necessarily respond positively to an increase in pushes, they already know us, they trust us. And they visit us for the information that they need when they need it. And so very much like any relationship, it can be complicated, right. So, kind of slowing the walk, you know you don't want to rush down the aisle right when you're first getting to know someone you're dating for a while and you don't want to. You don't want to rush things right and so introducing pushes gradually has increased retention, allowing people to get us know them on their own time. And we're still learning, really the best balance between engagement and retention, it's sort of a constant theme constant battle if you will. And, you know, very important to the health of our relationship with the readers that we've amassed. And so we can treat all audiences the same, right, but we do a lot of testing to find the right balance back to our trust the scale here. For new users for loyal users, and you know it's this again this balance of short term and long term, the short term engagement and long term retention is, is sort of key, right, so in addition to our own data if you go to the next slide here, some terpene analysis also shows that mobile users are actually more loyal than desktop users, I think the, the expectation when things are on your phone, you've probably experienced this yourself, from personal reaching a user on their mobile device right when you get things sent to your home screen. You need to take this into consideration when developing a mobile strategy. Now, reducing friction for mobile visitors will help create more loyalty. And, you know, giving them their preferred way of engaging with your content, even though they can't necessarily tell you exactly what you want. There's a lot of sort of reading. So these are things that you might want to consider also, not only with push but in your newsletter cadence with notifications that you send out with content that you're sending out over social media, etc.
So, with that some key takeaways from today. Readers engaged with all types of content on mobile, including and especially text I would say, readers want a balanced mix of content, it's up to us to figure out the best way to serve this story, certainly not all audiences are the same content delivery should be thought about for various types of audiences so a one size fits all approach does not work in most cases, we need to balance our short term engagement increases and leads and desires with long term retention and engagement for having a healthy relationship with our readers and users. So with that, we've gotten some questions coming through from the chat, which we'd love to address. Back up a little bit. Probably take the slides down at the stage to some q&a. So, seeing a definitive sort of trend here and some of the questions we're getting terms of how do we define long form content plus long form. Now I don't necessarily have a sort of a word, you know word count sort of approach to this right. You know the concept that we picked up for weekend reads, just, you know, tends to be not sort of intraday news content right, It's something that has an investigative sort of bent to it for sure. It's something that's going to illuminate. You know, something in our culture and our lifestyle or, you know, some other perspective of the news so we don't really think about this as sort of a character can sort of thing, I think, when you know, in particular for talking about the weekend reads. These are things that have, you know, that our publisher departments have, you know sunk a lot of time and effort into the reporting around and so again I think anything that's sort of not intraday news is what we're pushing for weekend reads, but longer form content is sort of one of those things where you kind of know it when you see it, but I would say that a good amount of the intraday news that we have to, could also be considered fairly long form I think the key thing that we're talking about here is that folks are engaging with the written word and that they scroll through and read the content and smart news with a lot of intent. And so, the form factor and the character count is not as important to us as this balance of folks, reading important news and information. And, you know, perhaps there is some more browsing some of the, you know, kind of more fun and entertaining things that come through, and you know we're trying to hang all those things in the balance so hopefully that answers some of the questions around long form content. Several questions from Richard Eisenberg. Duncan had a question, I was having additional content within an article impact read times on mobile, curious of adding more photos and videos to pathogens helps or hurts. We go to great lengths to encourage publishers to include multimedia content in their stories. It's all part of the storytelling. It's interesting to observe that smart news users tend to engage very deeply with video content, in particular, it's an asset that's related to a story. They do tend to engage with that with, again, sort of great content. We see that what we hear as a bit of feedback from publishers is that the consumption levels tend to mirror what folks seen from the most loyal readers that kind of maybe go directly to their site, you know, in the browser, and that the engagement patterns tend to look a lot like their most loyal audiences on smartphones, and again you've got in smart news in our approach to the market, and trying to, you know, address a very kind of heavy news reading audience, and an audience that loves to be engaged by content that stands to reason that they're engaging very deeply with all those assets so I think they all definitely help. And, you know our algorithm loves to see that people are spending time with great content with content. And if folks are kind of spending time in it. Scrolling through it, that's a good signal to our algorithm that a piece of content is having some success in, you know, in the platform I think it gives it a longer cadence and perhaps some more visibility as the engagement, kind of, you know, metrics, unfold right as a piece of content comes into our system. The algorithm is analyzing that for its quality and the engagement metrics had seen so it will see, you know, sort of a longer cadence I think is the key thing, so all those assets will certainly help.
When I was looking through questions here that we can address. We can jump in with some of the questions related to how we decide what to push when to push, and if there's a way to segment our audiences in terms of question. I'll let Brenna really take over, but I will say that the short answer is yes, we are segmenting our audiences and different times based on their reading behavior, but I'll really let Brenda step in and chat about how we think about that and how that works here. Yeah, so we tested a couple of different ways of sending the weekend reads originally because we're sending the same weekend read stories across all four time zones we had to find a time that worked for East Coast, West Coast equally what we landed on was kind of an early afternoon and the late afternoon for the west coast so they're earlier, the East Coast. And in terms of how our segment in the audience the weekend reads go out to everyone so we try to make it something that kind of has a wide appeal and fits into what news is happening and
we do also you know outside of just these weekend read pushes and again if you have the app you probably see a lot of breaking news notifications from us. Those are all completely run by our content team. So Brenna and folks are looking through what our publishers are publishing throughout the week sort of identifying those long futures to sort of see for the weekend as well as any outbreak news as it happens, but outside of that, we do have this whole machine learning approach to notifications. So our algorithm is constantly looking at what's trending in specific categories and then matching that up with users in that category. So, you know, for example, if you're a heavy business user, you might get pushed a business story that maybe I didn't see. So it does definitely vary based on your reading behavior within the app, and you know this is something that is constantly evolving. We're constantly looking at metrics, but we have found that it is pretty successful just in terms of, you know by topic, sharing what users are interested in as specific times we do see, you know, some, I mean it definitely has changed in the pandemic in terms of when, you know, we see an increase in put, I mean in engagement around commuting times midday lunchtime, and then towards the end of the night, that definitely has changed a bit, but we're seeing a sort of level back out into those different types of questions from Brittany Wilmore Virginia we're gonna jump in, I think there were some or.
Yeah, I think there were two. One question around like how you help boomers discover content on mobile, which I think is a great, great question. I think, and a separate study that was more kind of about like the user experience itself kind of like the UI, UX component. The thing that's really important across all age cohorts is easy to use. And so actually, in that sense like boomers and those not just members but anyone that's a little bit later on the tech adoption is a great kind of like benchmark to check in and see if the way that we're displaying the news within smart news, it's being done effectively easily and intuitively. And so I think for us it's less about getting more Boomers to use their smartphones more or more. Those who are later on the tech adoption it's more about those who are engaging. Are we, are they able to discover the content in smart news, easily, do they have to work for it. Is it frustrating. Those are the kinds of things that we try to remove in terms of friction. And then beyond that, the same kind of approach right being diverse and understand that everyone is different, kind of fills in, in terms of the content discovery piece. If there's one more question about that chart I showed that had advertising is limited and changing in place was actually not that advertising is limited didn't move up to number one is that it moved up one spot, important so it's still kind of solidly in the middle. They aspect in terms of importance that actually rose to number one, to like this place trust is this feeling of being in the know. And so I love this aspect because everyone always says like well what does that mean it means something different to everyone so I think it actually kind of reinforces this idea that audiences are different, that their content needs and where they might spend their time with long form content varies. Yeah, so that's that's kind of where answering that question around advertising is limited.
There's one other question in here that I don't think we answered about from Brittany about highlighting one story versus around up and push, and we actually do both, and we've seen both performed pretty well so for these weekend read stories and breaking news that's always going to be one story that we're pushing our users to, but we do send what we called scheduled push. So again at those high engagement times early morning, afternoon late you know commuting time and then late night, we send around up push so that typically will have you know, a news story that is relevant to your timezone, whether that's you know we do with East Coast, central and west coast and our content team is looking at that are that relevant for as we're going out or going out, but also we do include in that roundup push some things that you are interested in. So again it does vary based on user what I see at 7am might not be what Bernie sees at 7am So it's sort of, you know, that human guided approach again to our technology. Looks like we are right on time at 1115 So I want to just thank everybody for joining, and again if you have any follow up questions, please reach out to partners at support news, calm, and we'll make sure to chat with you. We'll make sure to get back to you. And it was really great to speak, and I'm very excited to work with all of you. Thank you all. Thank you. Oh, Ma. Take care and have a great weekend.