Moving ads give ST, My Paper apps more impact

New features on the e-papers are part of SPH's aim to create interactive newspapers

Readers of the electronic versions of The Straits Times and My Paper might have noticed of late some advertisements on the pages moving, the way that pictures in the magical world of Harry Potter do.

It's not magic, it's technology. These new ads are the start of a journey by the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) to create interactive newspapers.

By tapping on the ads, readers can call or message the advertisers, or get directed to their websites.

They can also share the ads through e-mails, phone messages and social media accounts, or save them to the photo album on their mobile devices.

In addition, they can search for similar ads that appear in the day's newspapers by using simple keywords.

By tapping on the ads, readers can call or message the advertisers, or get directed to their websites. More features will be rolled out. PHOTO: SPH

These features were developed by a team from SPH, which has secured a patent for the technology. For now, the features are available on iOS and will be available on Android at a later date.

Ms Elsie Chua, executive vice-president and the head of SPH's marketing division, said: "With these new functions, advertisers can reach out to a wider target group more effectively and for the readers, the user-friendly functions definitely provide an efficient platform for them to get connected to the vendors or suppliers."

More features will be rolled out in the coming months, including interactive news stories and pictures.

The features, which have been tested on the free Classified mobile app since last year, have produced good results.

Thousands of users have been using them each month to call and message advertisers directly from their mobile phones, said Mr Tan Ooi Boon, head of integrated sales and print classified.

He said only simple adjustments are needed to make the ads interactive on SPH's platforms and he hopes that advertisers will take advantage of these features.

Print advertisements in The Straits Times currently reach more than 1.2 million readers daily through the print version of the paper, and 150,000 readers daily through the e-paper available on smartphones and tablets.

For My Paper, ads reach 227,000 people through the print version. The app has received 100,000 downloads.

"We look forward to working closely with all our advertisers so that their newspaper ads become even more effective and impactful in connecting with their customers," said Mr Tan.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 28, 2016, with the headline 'Moving ads give ST, My Paper apps more impact'. Print Edition | Subscribe