Publishers can take digital content and repackage it using Currents own content management system (CMS) into the swipe-able page format of the app. Publishers can also include their own advertising to monetise the content.
Giving an example of the scale Currents could reach in terms of readership, Forlin said the largest edition in Currents is Forbes, with 23 million subscribers worldwide. In the UK, the five largest editions are the Guardian (2.1m), The Independent (1.8m), Metro (1.7m), Shortlist (1.7m) and The Telegraph (1.7m). The average reader of the Guardian edition spend more than three minutes in it per session, and reads 17 pages, or "screens" each time.
Here are some of the pointers for publishers on how to get the most out of the platform, as shared by Forin:
- Be visual
"New devices have high resolution screens," said Forlin, "so you need to have the high level detail that allows people to pinch and zoom on images."
The most successful editions on Currents have been those which make good use of large, high-quality images that readers "can play with", he added.
- Use multimedia
Making the most of the multimedia options that are available on mobile devices also helps to boost the interest in and engagement level of editions in Currents.
"You can upload audio files so users can read the content or listen to the story," Forlin said. "It's another way to engage with the audience."
- Personalise editions
Rather than using the default settings in the Currents CMS, Forlin recommended applying personalised and branded style sheets to make the edition more engaging.
This can be accessed by going to the 'manage articles' tab in the Currents CMS. From there, publishers can access the 'override template' option and upload their own custom HTML style sheets. It will take some coding knowledge and experience but the results in making individual editions stand out are worth the effort, said Forlin.
- Integrate with other Google platforms
Google products such as Currents, Play, Google + or YouTube were all developed at different times by different teams, said Forlin, but they are now being used in a "synergistic" way to make them more effective.
He highlighted the approach of Condé Nast in integrating YouTube videos into some of their editions in Currents. Not only does this enhance the multimedia elements of the edition, but it allows any monetisation methods used on YouTube to be transplanted into Currents, Forlin said, potentially multiplying their effectiveness.