The Impact of Mobile on Digital Publishing

Arm holding mobile phone with individuals in background on mobile devices with screens and shapes behindThe smartphone turned 25 last year, and throughout that period, it has had a huge impact in everything we do, from purchasing clothes, to ordering food and even online banking. Consumers are online for a significant part of their day, and mobile phone usage has increased in the last few years exponentially. 

With this widespread adoption of smartphones and tablets, more and more people are consuming digital content on their mobile devices. This has led to a shift in the way that digital publishers create and distribute their content.

Why should publishers focus on Mobile?

For readers attempting to consume news and content, mobile is without a doubt the most dominant device for doing so! It is always the closest device to us. We carry it around all day and we sleep next to it at night. Mobile reaches 87% of the world’s population, with more people than ever using their smartphones to go online. A recent study showed that children as young as seven now possess a smartphone, and the majority of younger people aged from 10 to 20 will have not experienced using a desktop device, or will only do so when / if they attend further education or gain employment in particular fields.

Mobile devices have become a fundamental part of life for most people, across all generations. Mobiles are the device that youngsters are most likely to use to access the internet, with the rest being a tablet device or a parent’s laptop. Reuters found that 47% of under 35’s use mobile as their first device to access news, compared to 28% of aged 35-64. 

The smartphone has changed how we consume content, specifically digital content, and digital publishers need to adapt their publications to the mobile friendly/mobile first way of creation, here are some ways digital publishers are adapting to these trends. 

How Mobile has impacted digital publishing?

Mobile-optimized approach

One impact of mobile on digital publishing is the rise of the mobile-first or mobile-optimized approach. Making sure your publications and online presence are optimized for mobile is the best way to engage with and impress your audience. Publishers who do not have their magazine, newspapers, etc. optimized for mobile, are missing out big time. A huge portion of their audience will not have access to their content or they will simply exit the content completely if it is not laid out in a format that they would expect to see it in.

In addition to optimizing the layout for mobile, a mobile optimized approach often includes other factors like shorter articles and videos, as well as larger text and buttons that are easy to tap on a touchscreen. Additionally, many digital publishers have started creating content specifically for mobile apps, which can be downloaded and used offline.

Multimedia content

Audiences are increasingly wanting to consume their content in a multitude of ways, like watching videos, listening to podcasts or audiobooks, or getting content from graphics and images. So digital publishers are now having to adapt their content to include multi-media aspects to keep their audiences engaged. Including animations, image galleries, infographics, shorter more concise articles, or video elements within the publications are all common practice and give the audience an interactive and engaging experience. 

Social Media

Nobody benefited as much from the rise of the mobile as the social media platforms. Social Media and the Smartphone were a match made in heaven. On average, users spend 2 hours and 27 minutes on social networks worldwide each day ( With these figures in mind, distributing digital publications via social media has never been more important!  Publishers are beginning to recognize how vital social media has become in growing traffic and subscriptions as today most news journeys start with social media on a mobile device. While Facebook is still the dominant platform for news, TikTok has become the main source for the younger, gen Z generation.  Readers no longer seek out their news – they wait for it to come to them – no longer do we have to wait for tomorrow’s newspaper or even go to a news website for news, but readers now get breaking news updates in their social media feeds without even searching for them. So publishers are sharing their content on social media sites, creating shorter versions of content to post online for quick viewing and bring their content to their audience through social media channels. 

Monetization and targetting

Mobile technology has also enabled new forms of monetization for digital publishers. Many have started using mobile ads to promote their content, as well as in-app purchases, subscriptions, and other microtransactions which offer digital publishers an opportunity to generate revenue on top of the content itself. With added analytics and tracking data that comes with the software from a digital microsite or publications vs a traditional publication or PDF, publishers can better optimize and target their audience based on their behaviors. Mobile devices also provide new opportunities for location-based targeting, which allows advertisers to serve ads to users based on their physical location, or demographics so consumers can use mobile data to get their content directly in front of their target audience. 


Overall, the impact of mobile technology on digital publishing has been significant. It has led to changes in the way that digital publishers create and distribute their content, as well as new opportunities for monetization. Today, publishers must follow mobile trends. It is no longer enough just to have a pdf version of your publication available for mobile viewing. Mobile content is the key to unlocking devoted readers. Publishers need to quickly understand that today’s consumer is impatient, yet constantly devouring content! While laptops have long been the main access point for digital news, smartphones have now taken over. This isn’t a trend that happened overnight. It has been in motion for the past decade, and as mobile usage continues to grow, it’s likely that the impact of mobile on digital publishing will continue to evolve.

About Experios

Experios is 3D Issue’s all new Content Experience platform that allows you to build both internal communications and external content easily, while implementing your company branding. You can create annual reports, newsletters and brochures for your employees as well as your customers. Experios contains a full tracking and analytics package that can link to your Google Analytics so you can always measure the success of your digital content. You can get started with Experios for free today, schedule a demo or start your free trial.