The 013NEWS site has undergone a serious revamp, MfisoMEDIA announced on Friday.
MPUMELELO LEKWALE MASHIFANE – EDITOR
A significant part of this revamp was the merger of the 013NEWS and the BlackVoice sites, the company’s digital development manager, Martin Spautz said on Thursday morning.
“We launched BlackVoice together with 013NEWS and we wanted it to focus on the issues of black people but also to allow for the cultivation of new voices of opinion. But then soon afterwards we realised that running both sites was an administrative nightmare, especially with the limited resources we have at our disposal, so the team took a decision to merge both sites,” he said.
Spautz, who is also the publication’s web editor, said the revamp, which started in mid December and was completed in January 2017, saw exciting new changes on 013NEWS site.
“We were getting emails almost everyday, people asking us what’s going on? Why we are not publishing anymore? Now they can see why.
“It now looks completely different from what it was when it was launched last year August and “I’m sure our readers have noticed that we began a new year with a new site design”.
“The site is now much more premium, faster and easier to navigate” he said
Spautz says the new look 013NEWS now offers the BlackVoice portal where users can register to be contributors and share their opinion pieces.
“BlackVoice is now a section under 013NEWS,” Spautz said.
There is now also a Classifieds section but both the BlackVoice and the Classifieds sections are “still in the testing phase and are accessible to the public albeit it limited,” he said.
The website now also features comprehensive and live weather updates that gives the user realtime weather reports of all the major centres in Mpumalanga.
He said there were currently two thousand people who visit and read the 013NEWS everyday and articles are published on Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and Facebook the moment they are loaded on the website.
“We have managed to achieve quite a broad reach in terms of our readership. While we are solely focused on news in Mpumalanga and news that is about the province, we have seen consistent traffic from other parts of the country and the continent and sometimes a few hundred clicks from America, Europe and the Middle East,” said Spautz
Facebook Instant Articles
The company said they were investing a lot of time into their presence on Facebook in order to enhance interactions and user experience because the social media platform is were 013NEWS “has the largest following”. This is the reason they have now invested in developing Facebook Instant Articles.
Facebook Instant Articles is a new publishing tool developed by the social network giant that uses the same technology used to display photos and videos quickly in the Facebook app. Articles load instantly in News Feed, and readers really like the speed and clean delivery.
“We have close to 5000 people who like our Facebook page, therefore we have done this to enhance their user experience when engaging with and interacting with our content. This is a very important development to us given that we are an online-only news service.
“It is dedicated to our Facebook readers and these articles load ten times faster than a normal shared article/link,” said Spautz
“You will see that the article displays immediately after clicking it, try it,” he told the reporter.
He said they will continue building on their successes and will soon launch a competition that aims to showcase black entrepreneurs in the province.
The company will now move into the next phase of its strategy which is to grow and diversify its flagship project. It said another big change is expected to come between April and May and they have begun a process of engaging Mpumalanga entrepreneurs for possible investments and partnerships.
It says its aim is to tell the stories of the people of Mpumalanga but also to allow the people to tell their own stories through finding creative ways to gather and enrich content.
(edited by ZK)
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