Iltalehti adds 4 features to mobile app, increases engagement

By Joonas Partanen


Helsinki, Finland


Everyone knows that the print newspaper is not a device for tomorrow. Nor is desktop. The device for tomorrow — in fact, for today — is mobile, most particularly in applications.

Iltalehti started a development project in 2016 to improve our mobile application in many different ways. As one of the biggest online media companies in Finland, we wanted to attract new users and also provide better service for our existing users.

We gathered a team of people with editorial, marketing, design, and development backgrounds to ensure a broad pool of thoughts and ideas. We had two major goals with this initiative:

  • To gain better coverage among consumers under 30 years of age.
  • To serve our existing readers better and increase their engagement.

Iltalehti published its first news application back in December 2010. We knew we already had a strong base, with 500 million monthly page views and apps accounting for 40% of that. Our news reaches half of the Finnish adult population each week. Iltalehti has been the most searched keyword in Google for years in the Finnish market.

Iltalehti put together a team to make improvements to its mobile app for current users and to engage new ones.
Iltalehti put together a team to make improvements to its mobile app for current users and to engage new ones.

Along the years, with continuous user feedback, our app has developed by leaps and bounds. We wanted to make bigger changes concentrating on better user interface and to create totally new features.

The improved version of the app with new features launched at the end of 2016. In this new version, we gave readers more ways to find the news that interests them and engaged a younger demographic with a fresh approach to our content.

We introduced four new functions:

  • Top News is a list of our top stories right now, this week, and over the past 30 days. This feature allows user to find older popular articles and increases the lifespan of that content.
  • Pictures is a modern way to serve news via images and was created especially with our new, younger target group in mind.
  • Lifestyle is a rich content section with easy accessibility, targeted toward women.
  • Social Media is a section for the youngsters — or those young at heart! It keeps all the social media buzz in one place.

We wanted to utilise the native features of each platform, optimise performance, and create a familiar user experience for Android, iOS, and Windows users. When we were ready for the launch, we used several different marketing channels, including Finnish Youtube star Roni Back.

So how did we do?

We saw a 63% increase in downloads, 26% increase in updates, and 17% increase in session duration. More than 69,000 young adults got better acquainted with our app. We have also received a lot of good feedback from our users.

We continue the development process with our group, meeting regularly, and thinking of ways to make our app even better.

About Joonas Partanen

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