As 2012 draws to a close, one startup has cause to feel very satisfied with its achievements: Onswipe, which specializes in building touchscreen-optimized websites for publishers, ends the year with 44 million visitors accessing content through its platform and 10 million active users every month on iOS alone.
Chief technology officers, product managers and business development associates alike will be intrigued by how the startup, which launched in 2011, achieved its success. Given that News Corps’ tablet-focused publication The Daily recently folded, opportunities for business growth in the touch-screen market might look a tad inauspicious.
Move over desktops — the world’s going mobile
But Onswipe’s CEO and co-founder Jason Baptiste is clear that the medium wasn’t the problem: it was, he says, the publication’s paywall that hobbled it — that, and expecting people to download an app to access it. The Daily’s shutdown, Baptiste insists, doesn’t alter the fact that the world is migrating from the desktop in a big way.
Crunching supplied by Quantcast mobile traffic data for Tumblr and WordPress.com, Baptiste has calculated that, between them, they account for over 3.2 million unique iPad visitors to Onswipe-tweaked content in the US.
72 per cent of the firm’s visits come from the US, although there are small but significant numbers from elsewhere, too. The UK accounts for 6.6 per cent, Canada 4.8 per cent, and Australia 2.7 per cent. Collectively, well over half (61 per cent) chose to view content in portrait mode, while 39 per cent did so in landscape.
Big things in 2013?
Baptiste is bullish about his company’s prospects for 2013, which he says will be “a very significant revenue year.” So far, the firm’s emphasis has been on building its publisher network and audience; but there’ll be a shift in accent come the New Year. A new suite of ad products is in the pipeline, aimed not simply at improving publishers’ mobile presence but delivering “large increases in revenue.”
As it proclaims on its website, Onswipe makes it “insanely easy for a publisher of any size to make their existing content a beautiful app-like experience in the browser.” And the approach is paying off – the firm appointed its first chief revenue officer, Jared Hand, in August. Publishers appear to like the Onswipe effect and are willing to pay for it.