ABC News Launches “Social Climber” a Daily Editorial Feature on the Top Stories Trending Across Search & Social Media
Refreshed Story and Show Pages Feature More Embedded Videos, Photos and Social Content
Video Traffic and User Engagement Up Across ABCNews.com; Social Sharing Up 63%
Today ABC News Digital unveiled the new look of ABCNews.com. After six weeks of testing and user feedback, ABC News launched the refreshed ABCNews.com to reflect the growing needs of an increasingly mobile, digital audience. The new ABCNews.com features a fresh and modern look that is focused on what’s happening now, featuring more live video experiences, editorial features and social trends that users care about most.
A new, topic-focused navigation tool highlights trending topics and sticks to the top of the page as the user scrolls. The navigation is significantly smaller than the previous header so users can get to more videos, stories and slideshows quickly. Already, a renewed focus on promoting live video content has also resulted in millions of users tuning in to live streaming and original videos from the new home page, boosting overall video traffic during major news events. From an increased focus on live streaming video and live blog updates to a new left rail highlighting today’s top headlines and breaking stories, the site’s fresh look and feel allows users to pick and choose the type of content they want, however and whenever they want it.
The new ABCNews.com home page features a modern design with more content, videos and images to engage our diverse, digital audience throughout the day. Some features of the home page include:
- “Latest Headlines” Column: A list of top stories designed to visually reference a Twitter feed. This left rail provides users with the latest and most important headlines of the day.
- Live Blog and Video Thumbnail: Lists breaking news events happening now at the top of the Latest Headlines feed. During live video events a streaming video thumbnail is placed within the newsfeed, already performing 150% better than the previous live stream promotion.
- “Social Climber”: A daily editorial franchise that highlights and explains the top stories trending across search and social. Located on the right rail of the home page, “Social Climber” is periodically updated throughout the day to reflect the changing topics that users care about most.
- Live Blog & Other Promotion: Live blogs are now featured on the home page to drive more users to live content and the breaking news feed. The wider home page offers more space for ABCNews.com to promote special investigations, interviews and original videos throughout the day.
The re-designed story and show pages have also resulted in higher levels of user engagement and social sharing across ABCNews.com. The built out show pages feature a modern look that highlights each show’s brand for improved promotion and coordination across ABC News’ popular franchises. From “20/20″ to “This Week,” each show page features prominent tune-in times, Facebook and Twitter buttons and an improved search function that allows users to access each show’s archives. Other highlights include:
- More emphasis on video: including more live streaming video experiences during major, breaking news events.
- Increased Social Sharing: ABCNews.com’s new share tool follows readers down the page, making sharing easier than ever before. In fact, early testing of new features revealed that social sharing increased by 63% compared to the old site.
- More Embedded Content: New story pages now allow writers to embed more content, offering new and creative ways to tell stories on ABCNews.com. Writers can embed social media posts, additional videos, slideshows/images, interactives and pull quotes for a richer, more immersive experience. EXAMPLE: “Moto X Review: Motorola’s Smarter Smartphone Is a Smart Choice”.
- New Commenting Platform: A new commenting platform powered by Disqus allows users to submit and post their comments to story pages. Since the platform’s launch in May, commenting traffic has tripled across ABCNews.com, with more and more users submitting their reaction to the day’s top stories.
- Live Blog Updates powered by ScribbleLive: The new live blogging tool continues to drive user engagement, offering up-to-the-minute stories on a variety of topics in real-time from the Asiana flight crash to the birth of the Royal Baby. In fact, on the day of the Royal Baby’s birth, ABCNews.com users spent an average of 18 minutes (and a total of 8.5M user engagement minutes) on the Royal Baby Live Updates Blog.
Lastly, the refreshed ABCNews.com introduces the beginning of new editorial features across the site. ABC News recently launched a new lifestyle section on ABCNews.com and continues to develop new, original entertainment franchises.
- New “Lifestyle” Topic Page: A new topic page that includes daily headlines, videos and in-depth features on a variety of lifestyles topics from travel and food to parenting and fashion.
- Expanded Entertainment Franchises: ABCNews.com has expanded entertainment content to include new, original franchises from ABC News’ Celeb Quiz (stars have ranged from Carrie Underwood to Jason Sudeikis) to increased red carpet coverage and “What You Missed Over the Weekend,” a summary of the top celebrity and entertainment headlines you might have missed over the weekend.
ABC News will announce more changes to the refreshed site in the coming months. From video and programming enhancements to the development of new verticals and the launch of Fusion, ABCNews.com will continue to evolve based on the ever changing needs of our digital users.