Using location data, ABC News personalized the messages so a user received results about their home state. And if someone wanted information about another state, perhaps where they were raised, the user had the option to add alerts.
During election night, the app went into overdrive, sending out a total of 10 million messages using Urban Airship, a mobile marketing company whose services include sending out push notifications for apps.
These push notifications deep-linked to written content as well as live video, important for ABC News.
“We see video as our opportunity in mobile,” Roybal said. “We are a TV network, and video is the core of our identity and brand.”
Users could start watching a concession speech as soon as they swiped through a push notification. Because of these notifications, mobile video impressions were three times as high as they did in 2012. Forty percent of people watched live video streams.
The iOS8 operating system enabled ABC News to add sharing and following features from the home screen. According to Roybal, users love sharing news they get to first, or a reaction to a historic event.
“When you make sharing frictionless, people do it more,” Roybal said. That home-screen feature helped drive downloads of the mobile app during Election Day and beyond.
Changing technology has helped ABC News along in mobile video consumption, which continues to grow.
“Bandwidth and device capability has changed to play video really well,” Roybal said. “It used to be a glitchy mess. Across the board with our apps, we’ve been able to drive scale in video because of the change in technology.”