Here are the Kinds of Content Platform Users Seek (or Avoid)
Maybe it’s because I spend a lot of time around audience engagement teams, but after publishing the first part of my analysis on platform growth, my favorite part was the feedback I got from readers. Before we dive into my next analysis, I wanted to clarify something about one common theme of the responses I got to Part 1, namely: “But I don’t know anyone who uses Flipboard or SmartNews.”
How referral traffic growth happens: User growth vs. platform changes
I love discovering quirky insights in our data at Parse.ly — anything that challenges my perspective of what’s “normal.” But true breakthroughs coming out of any sort of data, referral or otherwise, are actually relatively uncommon. That’s usually a good thing: If new surprises popped up every single day, I promise your job would be harder than it is already. Data should not constantly surprise us. And in fact, this trend of SmartNews and Flipboard sending news sites more traffic didn’t surprise us.
Flipboard has been a growing source of referral traffic since 2017. More recently, SmartNews’ growth caught our attention in November. Lots of people use these apps, and more do every day — even if you don’t know them. In fact, these apps perfectly illustrate the difference between changes in reader behavior and changes in product.