Reuters 2012 Olympics App – My Perspective

We just launched the Reuters 2012 Olympics app – this has truly been a labor of love, collaboration, hard work, and fun.  I remember when I first proposed this idea last fall to some of our colleagues in New York and London following a meeting I had taken with the CIO of the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games (LOCOG).  I would really like to thank the London team for their “go-for-it” attitude.

Reuters has fewer rights it can exploit – specifically with regard to video content.  We’ve had to be very clever to think about what we can show, how we can show it, and how we can think about using some interesting pieces of technology to give the app some unique capabilities.  The app was built by our recently acquired Apsmart team, led by Rahul Powar.  You’ll see some very cool features that they’ve included in this app including pinch and zoom infographics on certain pictures and sharing of images on AppleTV.  We targeted only the iOS platforms out of the gate for one big reason:  it enabled us to collaborate with Apple’s user interface evangelists and deepen the working relationship we have with them.  Some great work was done by our preferred external design agency Great Fridays (who also did the UI work on Convene) in partnership with Marine Leroux and Daniel Lewington from our side.

There is also a CMS that was purpose built for this app by the News Technology group under Artem Fishman.  The beauty of this effort is that the platform – like the application itself, can be reused completely in future news and content delivery solutions.  Rahul’s team have also built in some very cool custom features for the Reuters management group:  as they see a story or image that they want to promote, there are special versions of the app that let them re-prioritize what content becomes the lead within the application.

In no way would we be in a position to showcase this great content without the tremendous support from the editorial team.  It is our hope that this becomes the first of many collaborations between our two teams.

I hope you enjoy the application.  We’re doing pretty well in the Free Apps section within the Sports category in the iTunes store so far – the app has lived in the top 20/25 of that section since launch.

Feedback on its performance, what you like, what you’d like to see changed, what we’ve missed is always greatly appreciated.  It is our intent to treat this effort as our first showcase product release, and we know we can continue to enhance the capabilities that this core solution can provide to the company.

You can download the app here and give your feedback in the review section or in the comments below.