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Why PinkNews gave app users the option to only read uplifting content


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

June 16, 2023 | 4 min read

The project won in the App of the Year category at The Drum Awards for Online Media 2023.

PinkNews wins app of the year for its relaunched site

PinkNews wins app of the year for its relaunched site / PinkNews

Responding to the needs of its audience, LGBTQ+ publisher PinkNews relaunched its app to prioritize personalization and positive news.

The Brief

In November, PinkNews relaunched its mobile app to prioritize positive and inclusive stories from the LGBTQ+ community. A survey of PinkNews readers revealed that 25% of them come to the publication specifically for uplifting and positive stories from the LGBTQ+ community, with it being one of the top four drivers to visit.

Over the course of six months, the in-house tech team rebuilt the entire website and app following WCAG guidelines to make them as inclusive and accessible as possible. The team built an “uplifting news filter” that gives readers the option to only read and view positive news.

The Idea

The new app allows audiences to curate their news feed, set preferences and react to articles using an emoji reaction tool. The editorial team uses the traffic data to curate content for the wider PinkNews audience – for example, rounding up PinkNews’ top-read stories to share with newsletter subscribers or highlighting the stories that are generating the most reaction.

The personalization features were crucial to the relaunch and are exclusive to the app. The app has also inspired changes on the main website, with a redesign and personalization features being rolled out throughout the next year.

It was crucial for PinkNews to maintain consistency across the app and to ensure the design followed its brand style. New key design components were elevated to give the new app a cleaner and fresher feel, which included the composition and layout, typography and imagery.

The Results

The relaunch of the app increased retention rate by 30% from a benchmark of 10% and now 50% of app users are logging on more than once a week. PinkNews has received positive feedback from its audience with the uplifting news feed being widely praised. One reader wrote: “The uplifting-content-only feature is a fantastic addition for helping people with mental health issues – well done for adding it!”.

This relaunch project won at The Drum Awards for Online Media 2023. Find out more about The Drum’s Global Awards program or head to our case studies hub to read more award-winning stories.

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