At iPhone 4S event yesterday it was announced that people using Safari on their mobiles would soon be able to use a feature called Reader Mode.
This is already available to people using Safari on laptops and desktops. It creates a beautiful distraction free environment for reading articles.
As we mentioned previously…
It’s a clever feature, because it figures out what matters on the page and shows only that, as a single column, without any of the other clutter on the page.
But many publishers have mixed feelings about this.
On the one hand, from an editorial perspective, it’s great that visitors can enjoy their content without interruption.
But commercially it’s not so good, as the clutter that gets stripped away includes the advertising that funds the editorial.
Those banner and text ads might not be popular with readers, or particularly effective (if falling industry CTRs are any guide), but they provide the income most publishers rely on. If readers can’t see ads, they certainly won’t respond to them.
Luckily there is at least one kind of advertising that has survived the cull.
Respond call to action buttons are still displayed above and/or below articles in the Safari reader mode. The button graphic is simply converted into a text link, which works just fine.