Allegedly the first South African news site to publish news-related multimedia content on mobile phones, Times Mobile delivers breaking news in all sectors including world news, business, sports, celebrity and science and technology. In addition, users can download various mobile-specific features and enhancements.
"The African mobile market is currently the fastest growing in the world, so it's important that every media company gears their strategy towards having a strong presence in the mobile arena,” says Colin Daniels, publisher of The Times Online.
“In South Africa, far more people have access to the internet via their mobile phones than from regular PCs. Therefore, we need to be able to offer our digital content in a user-friendly and accessible way to our readers. We also expect this mobile platform to turn into a highly effective advertising channel.”
The site, built on a platform that enables it to detect the users' handset and adapt the user-experience and screen-size accordingly, offers several features.
There is a weather service which picks up a user's location automatically and provides the relevant weather data. Multimedia content from The Times website is converted into a mobile-friendly format and is made available as free downloads on the audio/video section of the mobile site. Users can also view job listings from the careers section of The Times newspaper, which eliminates the need for a PC in order to browse them.
“By providing innovative features which offer convenience and valuable services to users, Times Mobile is likely to become a huge hit with South Africans and I'm sure they'll find a few good reasons to keep coming back,” points out Daniels.
The mobile site was developed through a partnership with Boost Communications and Avusa iLab, a division of Avusa Media. Boost Communications, based in Norway, is a leading mobile services provider specialising in the media, broadcast and sports sectors. It has eight years of experience helping major brands get the most out of their content when launching in the mobile market.
The content on the site - the digital home of the Sunday Times and daily newspaper The Times - is free to access; only standard network browsing charges apply. To access Times Mobile, type http://m.thetimes.co.za into your phone's web browser or SMS “mobi” to 32321 to have the link sent to your phone for only R1.