|Silicon Valley continues to serve as a breeding ground for innovative approaches to publishing. New tools are now emerging, for example, to help publishers create their own apps for mobile devices and the web.
TrapIt on Wednesday announced Trapit Publisher Suite, which allows publishers to create white-label iOS or web applications using the same artificial intelligence-based discovery engine that powers TrapIt's own newsreader app.
Publishers can create apps that feature original content from their own website (or multiple properties) as well as third-party content curated from TrapIt's discovery engine, which the company says includes more than 100,000 "high-quality" sources. Publishers can build apps from specific themes, and users can further customize and personalize the experience inside the app, just as they can with TrapIt's own iPad app, which launched in July 2012.
"This is a natural evolution for us," Hank Nothhaft Jr., TrapIt's co-founder and chief product officer, said in a phone interview. "As soon as we launched the app, publishers started asking us about how they could make use of our unique discovery technology."
TrapIt is based on the same AI technology, from SRI International, that powers Apple's Siri. The technology analyzes information and behaviors to deliver contextually relevant recommendations; the more information it collects, the better recommendations it makes. By surfacing more relevant, contextual content on the fly, the TrapIt engine can significantly reduce bounce rates and improve time spent on web pages, said Nothhaft.
"We can really dig into the full text of the article and understand the relationships with other content," said Nothhaft. "It makes your archived content much more valuable."
TrapIt also announced the first publisher app using the suite. Here Media's Advocate Discovery app features content from Here Media's eight brands, which cover the LGBT community.
Nothhaft said the new Publisher Suite is "earth moving" for mid-market or small publishers because it provides a lower-cost option for creating native iPad apps as well as a more compelling web presence. It also gives them a new way to monetize mobile, because they can leverage existing advertiser relationships within their apps. Nothhaft sees this as a key differentiator from walled-garden newsreader apps such as Flipboard that disintermediate publishers from both their audience and their advertisers.
The Publisher Suite also includes tools for automating content distribution and sharing across email and social media. Built-in analytics help publishers track audience engagement and other activities.