Is print dying? It’s certainly on the shrink. While the two sides of that particular argument continue to shout at each other from across the room, something important is largely being forgotten: digital editorial is a whole new kettle of fish. But, has Time – one of the biggest publications in the world – just foreshadowed a new era for online publishing?

“The reader is probably not going to read a 5,000-word article on the iPad, but they might look at the news feed,” says Time Magazine’s Richard Stengel, speaking about the future of the publication on multiple devices.

Stengel’s comment was in relation to the redesigned website that Time has just rolled out. The new site is scalable, meaning its furniture adapts to fit whichever screen size it lands on. As well as that, the site now scales to best fit mobiles and tablets of all sizes. That’s a step in the right direction in terms of navigation, but is there more that can be done?

Fiddle with Time’s redesign here

Seems like there’s two schools of thought here, both coming from within Time itself. “It [the redesign] was really about the consumer experience,” says Time’s general manager Craig Ettinger, “because of all these consumers who were coming to Time.com from different devices. They’re using those as a surrogate for a desktop computer. They want to see everything we’ve got to offer.”

Or do they? Stengel’s got other ideas. “I actually think there has to be tailor-made content for each platform. This is just a very smart first step.”

Different content for different platforms? Sounds like an editorial nightmare, but it’s probably not a bad prediction of the future.

Last week we reported about new mobile news app Circa, which shrinks stories down into digestible chunks. That works well on a phone, but not on a computer, so maybe there’s something in the notion that online and mobile content need to differ?

One thing’s certain: if that’s going to start happening, it’ll probably take a publication as big as Time to get the ball rolling.

Source: AdWeek

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