Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

“We are finally seeing some legitimate creative capabilities surface for app developers and editors that will allow for compelling experiences outside of the traditional app.”

Does it add value? Will it enrich a subscriber’s experience? These are the questions we always come back to when discussing new features for apps. Up until recently, that experience was mainly contained within that icon on your mobile device. With the exception of the occasional push notification (a virtual “hey I’m still here”) you were left to rely on the strength of your brand in a sea of other brands.

christopher-meighan2017 will serve as a coming-out party for media companies looking to capitalize on recent innovations built to engage app audiences. With the release of Apple’s latest version of iOS and the rise in partnerships, we are finally seeing some legitimate creative capabilities surface for app developers and editors that will allow for compelling experiences outside of the traditional app.

Here are three ways apps will evolve in the coming year:

More ammunition for the lockscreen battle

Your mobile lockscreen is the prime real estate — it’s the gateway, and the place apps battle for your attention. Until recently, the standard notification — targeted at 131 characters or less — was the only way to compete in that space. With the debut of iOS 10, we’ve been given a whole new set of tools to experiment with in the notification universe. With one flick of the finger/3D touch, readers can be exposed to expandable, dynamic notifications that can feature bold visuals — from photos to video — accompanied by a more in-depth story summary. These tools are allowing us to embark on a whole new form of storytelling with very little cognitive overhead. I see a near future where your favorite story or digest arrives each morning in the form of a notification that expands, allowing you to swipe through reading a synopsis for each story, with the ability to read the full story right there.

Your personal assistant in messaging

Apple has made another interesting advancement with iMessage apps. We’ve now reached a point where the media has a more seamless opportunity to integrate into your personal conversations. If you are messaging with Mom about the latest Trump controversy, you are able to, with one or two touches, access your Washington Post iMessage app and insert a relevant story link. No longer do you need to leave iMessage → open your news app → find story → click share or copy → then work my way back to my conversation. It’s all there with minimal effort. Right now, we have recognition for emoji in our keyboards (type “happy,” get a smilie), and soon we could have the same for news. For example, entering a certain phrase in a conversation, such as “Did you hear about the shooting in Orlando?” would provide options to insert relevant content directly into your conversation.

Embrace partnerships/integrations

Media companies will continue to pursue partnerships that can add value to their app users experience. Recently, my colleagues at the Post integrated Uber with our classic app. The result allows our readers the utility of having an in-app trip progress bar, so they can continue to browse while also monitoring their journey. These types of integrations are not only a convenience, but also smart way of letting the reader know that we respect their time.

At the end of the day we are here to inform, surprise, and delight. I believe these new developments will allow the industry to make exciting progress to that end.

Christopher Meighan is director of emerging news products at The Washington Post.

Dan Gillmor   Fix the demand side of news too

Christopher Meighan   Unlocking a deeper mobile experience

Caitlin Thompson   High touch, high value

Elizabeth Jensen   Trust depends on the details

Umbreen Bhatti   A sense of journalists’ humanity

Hillary Frey   Forests need to burn to regrow

Kawandeep Virdee   Moving deeper than the machine of clicks

Laura E. Davis   Show your work

Olivia Ma   The year collaboration beats competition

Tim Griggs   The year we stop taking sides

Asma Khalid   The year of the newsy podcast

Tim Herrera   The safe space of service journalism

Andrew Haeg   The year of listening

Carla Zanoni   Prioritizing emotional health

Joanne Lipman   The year of the drone, really

Robert Hernandez   History will exclude you, again

Mary Meehan   Feeling blue in a red state

Liz Danzico   The triumph of the small

Bill Adair   The year of the fact-checking bot

Andrew Ramsammy   Rise of the rebel journalist

Millie Tran   International expansion without colonial overtones

Samantha Barry   Messaging apps go mainstream

Jeremy Barr   A terrible year for Tiers B through D

Rachel Sklar   Women are going to get loud

Almar Latour   Thanks, #fakenews

Scott Dodd   Nonprofits team up for impact

Valérie Bélair-Gagnon   Truthiness in private spaces

Michael Oreskes   Reversing the erosion of democracy

Vivian Schiller   Tested like never before

Rubina Madan Fillion   Snapchat grows up

Jon Slade   Trusted news, at a premium

Aja Bogdanoff   Comments start pulling their weight

Coleen O'Lear   Back to basics

Cory Haik   Navigating power in Trump’s America

Matt Waite   The people running the media are the problem

Margarita Noriega   From pinning tweets to tweeting pins

Jonathan Stray   A boom in responsible conservative media

Ryan McCarthy   Platforms grow up or grow more toxic

Javaun Moradi   What can we own?

Richard J. Tofel   The country doesn’t trust us — but they do believe us

Alice Antheaume   A new test for French media

Nicholas Quah   Podcasting’s coming class war

Jim Friedlich   A banner year for venture philanthropy

Keren Goldshlager   Defining a focus, and then saying no

Alberto Cairo   Communicating uncertainty to our readers

Tanya Cordrey   The resurgence of reach

Mario García   Virtual reality on mobile leaps forward

Nushin Rashidian   A rise in high-price, high-value subscriptions

David Skok   What lies beyond paywalls

Zizi Papacharissi   Distracted journalism looks in the mirror

Cindy Royal   Preparing the digital educator-scholar hybrid

Geetika Rudra   Journalism is community

Eric Nuzum   Podcasting stratifies into hard layers

P. Kim Bui   The year journalism teaches again

Gabriel Snyder   The aberration of 20th-century journalism

Tracie Powell   Building reader relationships

Mike Ragsdale   A smarter information diet

Sydette Harry   Facing journalism’s history

Erin Millar   The bottom falls out of Canadian media

Doris Truong   Connecting with diverse perspectives

Megan H. Chan   Cultural reporting goes mainstream

Libby Bawcombe   Kids board the podcast train

An Xiao Mina   2017 is for the attention innovators

Reyhan Harmanci   Bear witness — but then what?

Corey Ford   The year of the rebelpreneur

Kathleen Kingsbury   Print as a premium offering

Jonathan Hunt   Measurement companies get with the times

Ken Schwencke   Disaggregation and collection

Burt Herman   Local news gets interesting

Annemarie Dooling   UGC as a path out of the bubble

David Weigel   A test for online speech

Mary Walter-Brown   Getting comfortable asking for money

Molly de Aguiar   Philanthropists galvanize around news

Andy Rossback   The year of the user

Ariane Bernard   Better data about your users

Bill Keller   A healthy skepticism about data

Dan Colarusso   Let’s make live video we can love

Juan Luis Sánchez   Your predictions are our present

Emily Goligoski   Incorporating audience feedback at scale

Mira Lowe   News literacy, bias, and “Hamilton”

Emi Kolawole   From empathy to community

Lee Glendinning   A call for great editing

Lam Thuy Vo   The primary source in the age of mechanical multiplication

Steve Henn   The next revolution is voice

Sarah Marshall   Focusing on the why of the click

Claire Wardle   Verification takes center stage

Rasmus Kleis Nielsen   News after advertising may look like news before advertising

Adam Thomas   The coming collaboration across Europe

Katie Zhu   The year of minority media

Sara M. Watson   There is no neutral interface

Juliette De Maeyer and Dominique Trudel   A rebirth of populist journalism

David Chavern   Fake news gets solved

Andrea Silenzi   Podcasts dive into breaking news analysis

Andrew Losowsky   Building our own communities

Sam Ford   The year we talk about our awful metrics

Laura Walker   Authentic voices, not fake news

Felix Salmon   Headlines matter

Nathalie Malinarich   Making it easy

Pablo Boczkowski   Fake news and the future of journalism

Priya Ganapati   Mobile websites are ready for reinvention

Ray Soto   VR moves from experiments to immersion

Dannagal G. Young   The return of the gatekeepers

Michael Kuntz   Trust is the new click

Mark Armstrong   Time to pay up

Tressie McMillan Cottom   A path through the media’s coming legitimacy crisis

Maria Bustillos   “It’s true — I saw it on Facebook”

Moreno Cruz Osório   The year of transparency in Brazilian journalism

Mandy Velez   The audience is the source and the story

Rachel Schallom   Stop flying over the flyover states

Amy O'Leary   Not just covering communities, reaching them

Trushar Barot   API or die

Dhiya Kuriakose   The year of digital detoxing

Errin Haines   Chaos or community?

Francesco Marconi   The year of augmented writing

Erin Pettigrew   A year of reflection in tech

Matt Karolian   AI improves publishing

S.P. Sullivan   Baking transparency into our routines

Amy Webb   Journalism as a service

Renée Kaplan   Pure reach has reached its limit

Guy Raz   Inspiration and hope will matter more than ever

Liz McMillen   The year of deep insights

Ashley C. Woods   Local journalism will fight a new fight

Taylor Lorenz   “Selfie journalism” becomes a thing

Helen Havlak   Chasing mobile search results

Ernst-Jan Pfauth   Earn trust by working for (and with) readers

Sue Schardt   Objectivity, fairness, balance, and love

Anita Zielina   The sales funnel reaches (and changes) the newsroom

Peter Sterne   A dangerous anti-press mix

Melody Kramer   Radically rethinking design

Alexis Lloyd   Public trust for private realities

Ståle Grut   The battle for high-quality VR

M. Scott Havens   Quality advertising to pair with quality content

Carrie Brown-Smith   We won’t do enough

Amie Ferris-Rotman   Вслед за Россией

Julia Beizer   Building a coherent core identity

Rebekah Monson   Journalism is community-as-a-service

Swati Sharma   Failing diversity is failing journalism

Sarah Wolozin   Virtual reality on the open web

Mathew Ingram   The Faustian Facebook dance continues

Ole Reißmann   Un-faking the news