The Financial Times famously refused to fall in line with Apple’s new rules on iOS subscriptions earlier this year, choosing to launch an HTML5 web app as an alternative to its native iOS app, which was later removed from Apple’s store.
How’s the web app strategy going? The FT has announced that more than one million people have used it since its June launch, with 20% of total page views and 15% of new B2C subscriptions (i.e. not corporate deals) now coming directly from mobile phones and tablets. 45% of web app users have bookmarked it on their homescreen, too.
The FT says its mobile and tablet users are also more engaged, as they are 2.5 times more likely to subscribe than pure web users. They are also more willing to give feedback.
The FT has been working hard on the app since its launch, with recent additions including its FT Special Reports and blogs from the site, as well as the option to customise the startup screen.
The newspaper has also published an infographic on its one million milestone that shows the reading habits of users on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones, showing a big peak for the latter two devices between 6am and 9am – yes, commuting time – but also higher usage in the evenings. Unsurprising, but still interesting.