Mobile devices have a unique and powerful capability to deliver news. They are convenient, portable, and can be used while you’re doing something else. The convenience of mobile devices makes it possible for journalists to report from the field and double-check facts during interviews with politicians.
There has been a rapid uptake in use of mobile devices for news. Studies have shown that people are more likely to access mobile news websites, and they spend more time reading and viewing articles per session. Almost one-third of Americans also own a tablet computer. Millennials (18-to-29-year-olds) make up a greater proportion of the tablet news consumer population.
As with desktop/laptop owners, people who get news through a key word search on their tablet are more likely to access the news organizations directly. However, the correlation between smartphone and tablet searches is not as strong.
Many newspaper companies give employees smartphones to help them report and share their work. Some of these apps include live video streaming and applications for live blogging.
While news publishers have seen growing figures to their traditional sites from mobile devices, some have been concerned about the future of printed newspapers. Academics have questioned whether newspapers should continue to publish on paper, and have speculated about the possible death of printed newspapers.
During the early 2000s, news publishers around the world provided pushed news alerts to users. These were designed to be more personalized than the standard news feeds, and offered a direct gateway to enriched content. Several news publishers, including the BBC, Westlund, El Pais, and the Guardian, provided these alerts.