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Apple is finally rolling out its Apple News Format to all publishers, after an initial announcement at WWDC 2015. The format lets anyone, big or small, create rich multimedia stories within the Apple News app, featuring panoramas, videos, animations and more.

Until today, Apple News Format was limited to exclusive launch partners (like Wired) whilst everyone else had to resort to basic RSS import. Publishers interested in using the format should check out the documentation on Apple’s website.

Apple News Format is a custom file format that renders content specially inside the Apple News app, similar to how HTML renders web pages more generally. Unfortunately, it seems that publishers have to move exclusively to the new rich-media format or not at all: as the dialog above shows, when Apple News Format is enabled, RSS content will no longer be updated.

Here’s how Apple describes the proprietary format:

Apple News Format is the custom JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) document format for News content. With Apple News Format, you can create signature content for News. Beautiful typography, rich photo galleries, videos, and fun animations bring your articles to life. You can author once and News will optimize your content for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, so your readers will have a great experience no matter which device they’re using.

Apple News Format articles gain access to interesting analytics that normal RSS-based publishers cannot receive. This includes information like unique viewers, average active time spent reading and number of shares on social media. Apple News Format articles can also include iAd advertisements for monetization.

Apple News app launched with iOS 9. Earlier in the week, it was reported that Apple will be rolling out native ads inside Apple News that look like articles.

Update: Apple will ramp up advertising efforts for Apple News, encouraging users to open the app on their phones, with a billboard and online campaign (via Re/code). The ads feature the common line: ‘All the news you want. All in one place’.



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About the Author

Benjamin Mayo

Benjamin develops iOS apps professionally and covers Apple news and rumors for 9to5Mac. Listen to Benjamin, every week, on the Happy Hour podcast. Check out his personal blog. Message Benjamin over email or Twitter.