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Africa’s largest online publisher 24.com claims that its recently released Facebook app has resulted in a massive spike in referrals from the social network and more eyes on its stories.
The app is designed to allow users on the social network to read, share and comment on articles. The publisher says that it “opens up increased engagement around the news” as users can see what their friends are reading in real-time and comment on their articles.
The app automatically shares all the articles users are reading on their Timeline and News Feed but they have the option to control their sharing preferences.
Since its launch in mid May, the Naspers-owned company says, week on week referrals from Facebook have gone up 75% and the total unique story impressions have been 3 587 180.
According to 24.com editor-in-chief, Jannie Momberg, the publisher plans on expanding the app to its other products:
The app is currently live for News24 and Sport24 and we plan to roll it out across other platforms around the beginning of July, including: Nuus24, isiZulu24, Parent24, Food24, Wheels24, Fin24, Channel24 and Women24.
He also reckons that the app is in line with the current media zeitgeist:
International trends have shown that news related social apps are proving increasingly popular as friends choose to share and read news that their friends are reading with 25-34 year old’s the fastest adopters.
Things haven’t always gone smoothly for the online publisher, which consists of 22 web channels with a combined audience of more than four-million monthly users. In late 2011, it retrenched around 10% of its staff. At the time it said the retrenchments were made on an organisational rather than financial basis.