The three deep dive topics for the INMA Product Initiative this year didn’t magically appear. I started with a long list of interesting subjects and sounded them out with a number of you, culminating in a discussion with the Product Initiative Advisory Council.
So while I’ll go deep on those subjects, I wanted to share some of the other areas I know are relevant for many of you and what I think we should be looking out for this year:
1. Unless you have been hiding under a rock, you will know that GPT3 has made a huge impact already
Do we know how it will change our industry? No. But it will. And it will quickly. Did you know it took just five days for chat GPT3 to have one million users? To give some context, it took Facebook 10 months to get to that same number, Spotify five months, and Instagram two-and-a-half months.
The starkest question to ask for our industry may be: Why would a user go between Web sites and apps to try and find what they want when a single destination can answer all questions? Of course I have massively oversimplified this, and interestingly this wasn’t on many people’s agendas. But I think that will quickly change, so I’ll be keeping an eye on all things AI alongside my colleagues at INMA.
2. Coming through in many conversations, often subtly, is bridging product and revenue — or perhaps better positioned as tying product work back to revenue
Some of this comes down to overall goals and how we measure success: LTV? Or time well spent?
It’s hard to bring everything back to those bigger goals, but if we have too many KPIs and smaller metrics, we may find twe are actually driving a more fragmented customer experience. In the Newsroom Initiative, Peter Bale is also looking at editorial tactics and strategies related back to revenue.
And what about the role of product as part of subscription bundles, such as premium or even cut down cheaper options? Much of this will come down to having a holistic view of revenue and the products and features that drive these streams. On this last point, I’ll be keeping a close eye on my colleague Greg Piechota’s work in the Readers First Initiative, particularly as he looks at new subscription segments.
3. We know that “if you build it they will come” doesn’t always work
This isn’t new, but it’s also not something many news organisations have cracked — at least not to a standard consumers equate to top apps. So what are the best practices of onboarding and UX across platforms?
4. Users don’t come to us just for news
Many organisations have gone through an exercise of (at least trying to) understand why people do or would come to our platforms. One of the things that has surprised me within these user needs is the desire for community. People want to feel connected, and they want things to talk about and share. How do we translate that into our products?
I’m also going to be following Ariane Bernard’s work on the Smart Data Initiative, particularly on testing (what, how, and the culture behind it).
What are the things on your horizon that you’d like me to ask other product people about?
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