What you need to know
- Apple News+ will open articles from publishers directly in the News app.
- The move could continue to hurt publisher's own subscription business.
- It will, however, create a better experience for Apple News+ subscribers.
Apple News is making some changes with how it handles links in iOS 14 and macOS Big Sur.
Reported by MacRumors, the new software is introducing a toggle that will open web links from Apple News+ publishers directly in the Apple News app instead of taking users to the publisher's website.
Enabled by default in the Settings app, the option to open web links in Apple News is an Apple News+ "feature," so an Apple News+ subscription is required to have the Apple News app open when a web link is tapped.
The behavior was pointed out by Tony Haile on Twitter, who says that the feature will directly cannibalize a publisher's core subscription audience.
The report also says that the feature is turned on by default, so Apple is really trying to make this an expected behavior when using its devices.
There have been multiple reports suggesting publishers are unimpressed with the revenue generated from Apple News+, which has fallen below Apple's initial promises. Apple News+ attracted multiple magazine publishers from launch thanks to Apple's acquisition of magazine service Texture, but it has struggled to entice news publishers.
While publishers may not be happy to see less traffic to their own websites for those who use the feature, Apple News+ subscribers will benefit. Currently, many news articles sit behind paywalls that subscribers of the service still experience. The new behavior will ensure users are taken directly to the article they want to read without having to worry about those paywalls.