Mobile publishing startup Onswipe is releasing data today that looks at the popularity of mobile newsreading apps from the perspective of digital publishers.
Onswipe’s platform allows publishers to create mobile-optimized versions of their websites and ads, so the company says it can track every time an article from one of its partner sites is loaded in a news app. In the period from November 13 to January 13, the company says it tracked more than 60 million total visitors, and it saw that more than 320,000 visits came from four newsreaders: Pulse (owned by LinkedIn), Zite (owned by CNN), News360, and Flipboard.
If you’ve seen the news app charts on the iPad (that’s the device where Onswipe gets most of its traffic, though it has been expanding its support for Android), you probably won’t be too surprised to learn that Flipboard drove the most visits over that time period — 44 percent of the newsreader total, compared to 29.19 percent from Pulse, 24.94 percent from News360, and 1.87 percent from Zite.
When it came to engagement, however, Pulse was on top, with the average visit lasting 3 minutes and 24 seconds, versus 2:40 for Flipboard, 1:36 for News360, and 0:45 for Zite. As far as the most popular content categories on each app, entertainment led on Flipboard and News360, while technology was at the top for Pulse and Zite.
One caveat: Publishers can create Flipboard-optimized versions of their content that don’t require loading their websites at all, so those views wouldn’t be tracked in this data. However, Onswipe said they’re not aware of any Onswipe publishers that participate in the the Flipboard Pages Program.
I also asked co-founder and CMO Jason Baptiste if it surprised him that news apps are driving such a small percentage of total traffic to Onswipe sites, and he replied, “It really did, but Flipboard is gaining steam overall – adding a mobile web version really helped them is what my gut says. Also quite interesting that News360 is pretty big.”
You can read the full report here.