A big update to Apple News announced on Tuesday could make it an attractive platform for independent bloggers looking for a good place to post their stories.
The new tools allow any creator – "from individual bloggers to smaller, independent new organizations" – to format their stories, including video and audio, into the Apple News format, according to Vanity Fair.
Apple will make a new "web-based editing tool" available to help smaller publishers post their stories to Apple News. The update will also allow smaller publishers to customize their pages with their own look and feel, including changing the font and adding customized graphics, along with the ability to analyze reader stats on a new analytics dashboard.
In other words, watch out Tumblr, WordPress, and other blogging platforms.
Here's a screenshot of the CMS:
Here's another option, without a big splash image:
And here are the options Apple provides for text formatting:
However, I'm still on training wheels. First my post needs to be approved by Apple, presumably to filter out spammers and other bad actors. I can choose whether my post is for a general, mature, or "children" audience:
Apple News is a service in which Apple hosts content and serves it through its own app. Although Apple News stories can only be read through Apple's app, limiting its audience, that app is pre-installed on every iPhone and iPad that has up-to-date software. Apple also surfaces Apple News stories through the iPhone's built-in search.
Smaller publishers could previously hook up an RSS feed to post their content onto Apple News, although they couldn't enter into a commercial relationship with Apple in order to monetize that content. It's unclear whether that has changed with the new update. Apple did not immediately return a request for comment.
Apple administers its news publisher program through iCloud. You can sign up here. Only a few hours after I signed up for my personal blog, I was approved by Apple.
There are signs that Apple is continuing to support its news app, which launched last year, but has gotten off to a rocky start.
Recode reports that billboards advertising Apple News will soon start showing up in major cities, and we reported yesterday that Apple has introduced a new ad unit that allows advertisers to insert sponsored posts alongside articles in Apple News feeds.