Apple Wallet was designed to allow users to easily place payment options like credit cards, debit cards, and gift cards alongside tickets and passes from companies like Fandango and EventBrite. However, Politico Europe has decided to try to use the app to deliver news to its readers, reports NiemanLab (via AppleInsider).
As a part of its coverage of the EU Referendum [next week's nationwide vote in which the U.K. decides whether to leave or stay in the European Union], Politico has started to test Apple Wallet as a news distribution channel via a new tool it calls EU Referendum Tracker. With the tool, which is available only on Apple devices, readers can opt in to receive live polling and results data, as well as breaking news alerts, which appear on the back of the pass.
Although the pass is largely used for the EU Referendum, the news organization has been experimenting with breaking news alerts. Earlier today, it pushed a breaking news alert about the death of British politician Jo Cox.
Kate Day, Politico's editorial director of growth, told NiemanLab that the news site turned to Apple Wallet in an effort to experiment with sending news notifications without developing and maintaining its own app. Currently, Apple only allows websites in Safari to send breaking news alerts on macOS. Politico chose the EU Referendum specifically because they believe users are more open to push notifications if they sign up for the specificity of a topic rather than general news.
Politico considered platforms like WhatsApp and Facebook Messenger for its project, but thought WhatsApp had scaling issues for publishers while Facebook announced its bot program after Politico began work on the Apple Wallet project. The experiment is a joint effort with ad agency Digitas LBI, which used Apple Wallet to deliver news about the U.K. general election in 2015.
Day told NiemanLab that although Apple Wallet was an unusual choice for breaking news notifications, the limitations allowed Politico to focus and simplify what they wanted to do and get across with the notifications.
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