Tips from the Team: Are your mobile audiences created equal?

In our technology-fueled world it’s no secret that mobile devices like smartphones and tablets have changed the way people find and consume content.

A few years ago you could probably get away with a single, responsive site that served the same content to desktop and mobile readers. But with competing publishers, social networking apps, distributed platforms, and dragging load times, a single site is no longer enough to hold the attention of your audience.

If you want to optimize reader experience, you have to pay attention to each of these factors.

To start, it helps to understand the nuances of each of your mobile audiences. In your Chartbeat Publishing Dashboard, the first way to get a sense of your mobile audience is with the device type pivot. This filters your Dashboard to show you just people who are on your site right now using a mobile device. But does that mean they’re all experiencing your content in the same way?

If someone is reading an article on your site, there’s two versions that they could be on. The first is the actual version of the article that’s hosted by you, on your site, and the other option is a Facebook Instant Article, a version that keeps the user within the actual Facebook app, but serves an article that’s enhanced to load up to ten times faster.

But what does that mean for how your readers engage?

We’ve talked already about simulating your audience’s experience to combat mobile drop-off, but you can still use your Chartbeat toolset to get even more information around these more nuanced audience groups. A client that I work with recently asked me if I thought investing in Facebook Instant Articles was worth it, so we got on a call and talked through how I’d solve that problem.

We reasoned that FBIA would be ‘worth it’ if people being served content via Facebook’s app are engaging more than people actually on your site who were simply referred by Facebook due to the improved site experience. A few simple Dashboard pivots are enough to get to the bottom of that question: pivot on FBIA, and compare to the pivot on the Facebook referrer.

Making this comparison once in real-time isn’t exactly data science, but you can quickly see how much further you can take this. Maybe you setup a recurring report in Report Builder to make this comparison on a monthly basis. Over time, you might find some surprising results.


Mobile engagement offers a tremendous opportunity for publishers to better connect with the audiences that matter most to them. Chartbeat’s suite of tools are here to help point you in the right direction when making important decisions around data – you just have to know where to look.

If you’re interested in learning more about mobile distribution and how to take advantage of them, just shoot us a note at

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