Beyond the Browser: How the Fabric is Changing

Cast your mind back to 2005. A life of a website was a humble one. Your audience would come to you, pull your content, or find you via search. That was all that was expected, and that was all that was delivered.

Then, three massive trends appeared:

  • The Emergence of Social: Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms pushed their way into standing between your website and your audience, by way of learning what your connections consumed and algorithmically pushing content to you.

  • The Rise of Mobile: Smartphone usage is massive, yet still growing. More people now shop, watch, read and communicate via mobile devices than ever before. YouTube, for example, reports that 50% of its consumption is done via mobile devices.

  • Evolving Content Experience: Ecosystem gatekeepers are slowly but surely integrating their algorithmic content experience.

Thanks to these three trends, content demand has changed dramatically. Customers are no longer satisfied by just looking at content from their web browsers.

Today, the average web surfer wants their content delivered via the smart curation architectures of the big gatekeepers. Think Google Now, Apple News, and Facebook Instant articles.

Existing Publishing Models: The Problems & The Potential

In light of these increasingly relevant trends, existing publishing models face some issues.

Publishers tend to lose control over how their content is presented across different devices and channels.

Another problem is considerably less control over advertising. This manifests as a small amount of control in the gatekeeper apps, and even less control in the browser, thanks to increasingly popular ad blocking softwares.

Finally, publishers face a diminished brand impact, as the smart aggregators will simply pick the best content, which is not necessarily the branded one.

As for the potential, it’s nothing short of vast. Big gatekeepers care a lot about great content and fast experiences. One driving factor for the introduction of Facebook instant articles was Facebook’s unhappiness with users leaving their app for the slower loading time of a mobile browser.

Further to that, there is scale. For example it’s perfectly logical to assume that Apple News will attract a larger audience than, say, Flipboard. As a result, the room for growth is now far more expansive.

Capitalizing on The Future

In order for brands to capitalize on the current and future trends (instead of being left behind), it is necessary to work with a content management system that:

  • Enables brands to quickly capitalize on new platforms and devices.

  • Structures content in such a way that existing content can easily be repurposed and ported to new platforms and through new channels.

  • Unlocks the potential for next-to-instant experiences with ultra-short delivery latencies.

Contentful, is surely ready for such a future, having been designed from the ground up for structured content in an API-first world.

This enterprise-grade platform, which is trusted by the likes of Nike and Red Bull, makes all content accessible via an API, so content can be taken, accessed and displayed anywhere – and in any fashion.

There’s no pre-defined templates to restrict content presentation, so developers’ hands are untied when it comes to designing websites and apps around existing content.

To find out more about Contentful, visit their website.

Also, stick around for more Contentful coverage throughout the week, as we explore the various benefits of this API-first CMS.