The Quint is a digital publisher in India focused on mobile discovery and sharing for Millennials, reaching 8.8 million readers online*. Its mission is to guide young people through topics ranging from politics, policy and business, to sports, food, entertainment and everything else that matters.
The publisher jumped at the opportunity to be one of the region’s first Instant Articles partners because it seemed like the perfect product for Indian markets, where smartphone and 3G penetration are low compared to the US and Europe.
[Source: The Quint]
The Quint hoped that creating visually appealing stories which loaded instantly on 2G and 3G networks would lead to sizable growth in readership, engagement and video consumption.
As a digital-native publisher, the Quint was most excited about how quickly Instant Articles loaded. With 80% of its readership on mobile devices, the publisher sees load time as a major concern. Data-heavy elements like video and images can burn through readers’ mobile plans in India. The Quint wanted to make its content more easily and reliably available to readers, and Instant Articles’ speed offered a way to bring visually rich stories to a mobile audience. Instant Articles introduced new possibilities for multimedia storytelling on Facebook, and the publisher quickly began experimenting with the format’s interactive features to find the best ways to present immersive journalism.
To immediately hook readers into a story, The Quint focused on placing visually arresting hero images at the top of its articles. The publisher uploaded stunning, high-resolution photos and illustrations with the tap-to-expand and tilt-to-explore features enabled. Readers noticed an immediate difference. Engagement numbers jumped 20%, and The Quint heard direct feedback that these articles provided a new, different and more interesting experience.
The Quint then turned its attention to video as another feature that would engage readers. Native video and third-party players load quickly in Instant Articles, and the publisher has seen overall video consumption within articles grow substantially since joining the program.
The Quint also encourages its reporters to record audio versions of stories, which can be included in Instant Articles as SoundCloud embeds. This solution gives readers multiple entry points into stories and serves readers in situations where listening to a story is more ideal than reading it.
Overall the focus on providing a more immersive reading experience is paying off. In parallel to increased video consumption, time spent on story pages is up, clearly indicating that the new story elements lead to deeper engagement by The Quint’s readers. The Quint’s editorial team now publishes all of its content as Instant Articles and is thinking about how to incorporate more interactive features into its stories programmatically.
The publisher has seen significant growth in traffic and engagement since adopting the format and believes readers choose to consume more Instant Articles once they experience the rich reading experience first hand. One-fourth of The Quint’s overall traffic is now coming from Instant Articles, and the time spent reading these articles has grown by 25% month-over-month. The publisher is monetizing Instant Articles through Facebook’s Audience Network, where it is seeing CPMs 2X higher as compared to other ad networks.
“We quickly saw Instant Articles lift the user-experience to an altogether different level. For a visual product like ours, Instant Articles is a game changer. We’re still fine-tuning the experience, but we’re very happy with the results so far.”
Ritu Kapur, CEO – The Quint