The New York Times, struggling to find its place digitally, has just released an iPhone update today, three days before its paywall plan is put into action. Well what’s new?
In addition to an interface touch up and the option to swipe between stories, the app now has Recently Viewed items at the top of it’s Sections section, followed in order by Photos and Video, which were not at the top before. The update purportedly will add more videos and slideshows to the app, so the re-prioritization of these options makes sense (and also cents, as these two content types have proven to be the most addicting for readers). The NYT Blogs like Dealbook and Media Decoder have (finally) been relegated to their own section, at the bottom of the app.
Most importantly, in this age of Twitter, the app now has push notifications for breaking news (which users can enable in Settings) which means that you’ll actually be reminded to use the NYT app. Twitter share and Facebook share options are also available.
These notifications and reminders could be crucial to user engagement once the NYT paywall goes up on March 28, as only the Top News section of the app will remain free and users who want to enter other sections like Blogs or Video will have to become digital subscribers starting at $15 for every four weeks (print subscribers will have unlimited digital access).
And if you think you can get around the paywall by just not updating the NYT app you’re out of luck: Come Monday, users will have to download the updated app in order to access any content.
You can find the app in the App Store here.