Cape Town - Independent Media Chief Digital Officer Anthony Robinson on Thursday announced that the company has released an advanced IOL mobile site for smartphones.
The launch of IOL mobile is in line with Independent's strategy to provide news to the increasing mobile smart phone users on the African continent. All statistics are indicating that smartphone usage on the African continent is growing at a rapid rate. An increasing number of African users have smartphones and IOL mobile will allow the company to extend its news provision to such users on the African continent and allow advertisers to bundle their products with our print, digital and mobile platforms.
Smartphones are set to become the primary device for accessing the internet in Africa, and on Thursday (August 28, 2014) Independent Media launches IOL Mobile, which will offer its users the fastest and simplest reading experience possible.
Benchmarked in terms of speed against leading international news sites, IOL Mobile will provide readers of IOL, South Africa's premier online news source, with a site that has been optimised for smartphone viewing and navigation.
Independent Media for some time has been lagging in terms of technology and digital investment, but its new shareholders are committed to revitalising the company, especially through investments in digital technology.
Independent Media Executive Chairman Dr Iqbal Survé this week welcomed this latest digital development. “Independent Media is excited about the launch, which is part of a R35 million investment in a digital/IT roll out. We never invested in technology before and now these advances are allowing us to catch up with our competitors,” said Dr Surve.
IOL Mobile is the first public-facing component of Independent Media's upgrade roadmap and was designed with the primary goal of staying true to the company's new brand promise of placing the reader first and celebrating individuality. With this in mind, the technology team's goal was to create a reading experience so absorbing and enjoyable that the technology involved fades into the background.
Anthony Robinson, said research indicates that the responsiveness or speed of a site is the primary requirement for smartphone users, while readers are seeking simplicity in navigation and design. IOL mobile offers all of this and its users will be able to click or swipe between articles and sections, quickly and easily.
The launch of IOL mobile is a first release and will be updated regularly in response to reader feedback. IOL mobile is one of a number of new technological launches the company has planned. Independent intends to release a number of advanced technologies in the next 3 months and the market will be informed as and when they occur in line with the committed investment in technology.
The formal launch of the new site will be done with employees of Independent Media on Friday.
* The URL for IOL’s mobile site is iolmobile.com