On June 8 Apple announced a new newsreader app, cleverly named “News,” will soon be rolling out to iOS devices. ‘News’ is being heralded as the death knell of Flipboard, a popular content aggregator app that collects content from RSS feeds and social networks to display in a magazine-style, flippable format.
What is Apple’s ‘News’?
‘News’ is expected to have a similar but not identical system to Flipboard in that it displays articles and blog posts in a more aesthetically pleasing format. Instead of seeing your blog’s posts as a list of hyperlinks or on a blog roll of snippets or full posts, app users will see the snippets arranged in newsletter or magazine format, with one “page” on your device showing previews of 4-6 blog posts.
During Apple’s launch announcement, they mentioned ‘News’ comes ready to go with many prominent news sites, blogs and magazines like Cosmopolitan, Time, ESPN, BuzzFeed, The Telegraph, and bon appétit. This doesn’t mean that smaller, niche blogs will be lost in the abyss. There’s every indication that ‘News’ will allow any blog with an RSS (Really Simple Syndication) feed to display in the app along with the heavy hitters.
Optimizing Your Blog to Be ‘News’worthy
On the technical side there’s really only one thing you need to do to get your blog ready to display on ‘News’ and that’s to have an RSS feed set up. If your blog runs on a platform like WordPress or Blogger you already have RSS set up. If you’re running on any other platform and are unsure about your RSS feed, check with your platform documentation or talk to your webmaster to see if you’re RSS-ready.
The big thing to look at with getting your blog ready to syndicate to ‘News’ is whether you’re writing ‘News’worthy content.
- Are your blog topics intriguing and useful?
- Would your headlines grab the attention of a browsing user and entice them to read further?
- Does your opening paragraph include a ‘hook’ to get readers interested in your entire post?
- Is the information you share useful, factual, and shareable?
If you answered ‘no’ to any of those questions, you have some content improvement to do before ‘News’ launches in the app store.
Many bloggers are expressing worry that by displaying their blog content on Apple’s ‘News’ app they’ll lose their blog identity. On the contrary, you still need to maintain your blog on your own site for it to even make a splash on ‘News’.
Smartphone and Tablets Are the Newspapers of the Future
According to the International Data Company, in 2015 Apple’s iOS platform has about an 18 percent share of the smartphone market and a 25 percent share of the tablet market. If your blog is RSS-ready there’s no reason not to embrace the additional exposure as long as your content is up to snuff.
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