Foreign Policy is a US-based publisher focused on current affairs, global events, and domestic and international policy matters.
They’ve been around for half a century and are still going strong, presenting “the world to Washington and Washington to the world”.
Foreign Policy publishes six print issues annually and have several podcasts and newsletters.
Naturally now though, their website is the cornerstone of their brand, where they publish articles throughout the day.
What about apps?
We spoke with Chief Product Officer Adam Griffiths who explained they already had an iOS mobile app on the stores for about three years, but it wasn't set up in a way that was easy to update, evolve and iterate on. It wasn't syncing with their WordPress site and constantly required the external team that developed it to manage and improve on it.
Last year, a new publisher came on board at Foreign Policy. One of his goals was to get the app up and running again, modernize it, and develop one for Android too.
Developing an Android app was a smart goal, as it broadened the reach of the magazine, given its global audience.
FP's new iOS mobile app on the App Store[/caption]
Adam was tasked with making it happen. He checked out a few options and came across MobiLoud. We specialize in developing apps for publishers and news outlets so it was a natural fit.
Adam wanted to check out our references before committing to anything.
“First, we talked to some references. MobiLoud had built an app for Business Insider in Europe and our publisher came from Business Insider here. We got in touch with the head of that project for that app, and they had a really good experience with MobiLoud. That definitely made us feel good about making that decision”
With the decision made, the work could begin.
Adam already had a good idea of what they wanted and had thrown around some design ideas and concepts with his team.
“We were able to hit the ground running really fast which was nice”
It’s great if you have a solid plan for what you want from your app. If you don’t though that’s no problem - we’ll help you to build one.
We can take care of the whole design and build process through our custom plan, or you can use our platform to easily develop great apps yourself. Either way we’re in regular contact with throughout the process to make sure the apps are a success.
“The previous company we used was pretty much totally an offshoring operation, so it was nice to have the team at MobiLoud connecting with us directly on a weekly basis as the project evolved. We got a good sense very quickly that they were easy to work with”
Adam had a list of features and customizations he wanted the app to have, so we got to work building a roadmap to get there.
“Very early on the thing that I appreciated about working with Pietro and the team was that we had a pretty clear cut vision as to what we wanted when we went in. MobiLoud’s team took that outline and within a couple of weeks had a really good assessment of whether these things were doable”
After assessing everything, we let Adam and the team know exactly what was completely doable right out of the box, and what might need some additional thought and planning.
“Many of the things we asked for were already on the MobiLoud roadmap, as they help each client customize the app and tailor it to individual needs. The process is very clear and transparent”
We support many features as standard, but whatever the requirements our team can generally work with you to figure out a solution. That’s what we’re doing with Foreign Policy.
But the priority was getting great apps launched so their audience could start enjoying them on iOS and Android ASAP.
An Ongoing Partnership
Once the app was ready and live they were very happy with it - and had to let their readers know that there was a new and improved channel to get their content through.
“We did a marketing campaign as soon as we had this new app that we were really proud of. It was shiny and new and we knew it would work reliably for anyone who installed it!”
Promoting your app to your audience when it launches is a smart move. Many of them are probably already wondering when you’ll release one and will be excited to install it.
“I just checked this morning and we've already seen about a 40% uptick in traffic to the product page on the Appstore”
A Better Reader Experience
There was also some solid evidence that Foreign Policy readers were enjoying the new and improved mobile experience.
“We’ve also seen more people keeping the app installed for more than 30 days. People are definitely seeing the update and using it. We've got a lot of great feedback from our users. We just launched on Android and we had a thousand installs in the first 30 days”
We’re working closely with Adam and the team at Foreign policy to make sure the success of their app project continues to grow.
“If you’re set up on WordPress and you’re serious about WordPress - MobiLoud really get WordPress. [..] They can really be there for you in whatever capacity you need them to be for your team”
WordPress is really our forte. Our platform takes your WordPress site and converts it into native apps. So of course we can and do offer support that goes beyond the strict remit of the apps themselves.
We’re happy to work with a brand like Foreign Policy, and are excited to keep helping them get their great content out to their audience through the best possible channel.
We can help your brand get on the App Stores fast and affordably too.
If you run a high traffic site and are willing to share a little ad space, you might quality for our Publisher Program. You'll get iOS and Android apps as good as The New York Times or Huffpost, at no upfront cost to you!