Washington Post launches Topicly, a new visual news platform

The Washington Post yesterday launched new visual reading feature ‘Topicly’ for its website and mobile platforms. Grouping articles by theme and then linking these under an image in a grid, the homepage is like a chequer board of different news topics, each leading to a wealth of relevant stories, commentaries, graphics and multimedia surrounding the issue.

by WAN-IFRA Staff | September 24, 2013

The site is updated every 15 minutes, and topics are being extracted in real time. The more that is published around a topic, the higher it will feature on the page. Cory Haik, Executive Producer and Senior Editor of Digital News at The Washington Post, said ‘It’s designed to offer news signals quickly, to understand the pulse of what is happening upon first glance. With one click, a user can easily unearth everything The Post has to offer on that topic.”

Advertising on the site is native, so all adverts appear in the same format as the news topics around them. Land Rover, the official launch sponsor, for example, has its own grid in the chequer board, the only significant difference being that it is qualified as a ‘sponsored topic’.

Although able to be used on all devices, the site is particularly aimed at mobile users.  The Topicly team plan to develop the site so it will eventually include social media data in its algorithm. As Lucia Moses for AdWeek supposes, this could be ‘just the sort of thing the Post’s new owner Jeff Bezos could be looking for’ when he said that he bought the paper so he could help them to ‘experiment’.

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