Last year was iMore's biggest ever. Thanks to you, we surpassed 11 million readers a month for the first time, put a bigger emphasis on accessibility and security, kicked off our ebooks program, and helped more people get more out of their iPhones, iPads, and Macs than ever before. We also got to experience the launch of two new products and platforms with you: the Apple Watch and the Apple TV.
But 2016 brings in a new year, which means it's time for us to look at what comes next.
Putting the MORE into iMore
We're incredibly fortunate to have multiple audiences, whether it's those who follow us directly on the homepage or via social networks like Twitter and Facebook, or those who find us when they need help, primarily through search engines like Google and Yahoo. We're also enjoyed by those who've been in tech all their lives and those who are just discovering it for the first time.
Up until now, we've been treating all our audiences the same, and not always to everyone's benefit. That's changing.
A couple of years ago we launched a dedicated news team, headed by Derek Kessler, that spends all day, every day, finding and linking the stories you care about. They've done a great job focusing on the news so that the core iMore team could focus on the features.
Last year, we launched an accessory team, headed by Chris Meinck, which is doing the same thing for everything from gear to deals. We're still building out that team, but it's working so well that we're already about to launch a third dedicated team: one for our Help and How To content.
The core iMore editorial team will still be publishing how-tos for troubleshooting complex issues when new devices or operating systems launch, but our new help team will make sure we also have the basics covered for all of Apple's hardware, software, and services. They'll also be making sure we surface more from our incredible Forums community, so when you have questions, you get answers.
If it works—and we believe it will!—iMore Apps and Games next?
One of the hardest things to do as a content creator is to realize your tastes and needs aren't the same as everyone else's. The best device for you may not be the best device for a lot of other people. The apps you can't believe get made... might well be the most popular.
Apple has mainstreamed computing and software, and we'd like to better help that mainstream. That's why we're putting together iMore Pop: While not exactly analogous to "Buzzfeed" and "Buzzfeed News", the iMore Pop team is going to focus on the lighter, brighter, more social, more connected, dare-we-say more millennial side of the Apple ecosystem. (And yes, that may even include Kimoji.)
We're just starting to build the team out for iMore Pop, so it might be a while before you see it in action, but it's the Pop team that's going to handle everything that's fun and engaging for everyone.
The new teams let us serve various aspects of our audiences, but they also provide a huge benefit for our most passionate reader as well: They free up the core iMore team from having to cover every aspect of the ever-growing Apple ecosystem. While they focus on the best Apple news, accessories, how-to coverage, and pop cultural trends, we have more time to write the research pieces, editorials, opinions, reviews, and analysis that are uniquely ours—and that our iMore readers have told us they value the most. So...
Enter iMore Select.
Our singular focus has always been to bring you the very best Apple coverage imaginable. We're going to continue to supplement that effort with recurring contributors like those you've seen in our Network and Experts columns, and occasional all-star guest posts and podcasts. But we're also going raise our own game and, what's more—elevate the reading experience.
We want to create a site-within-a-site that provides the best content in the best way possible. And to help to that, it'll have a special twist…
We've talked before about the challenges of running a large site with a large staff. Last year we started experimenting with ebooks as a way to offer ad-free content. This year we're going to use iMore Select to try a another experiment: sponsorships.
We want to figure out a way to present the writing you come to iMore to read with fewer or even no ads—all while keeping the lights on and making sure our hard-working writers and editors get paid.
We're busy figuring out the details and lining up our launch partners now, but the gist is this: the companies, products, and services that want to reach you directly will have a weekly opportunity to do just that. Since we're iMore, we're going to do it in a distinctly iMore way. More on that soon!
Meanwhile, if you're a manufacturer, vendor, developer, or anyone who wants to reach our incredible community in a way that benefits everyone the most, let us know—we'll be offering some great rates during our initial beta launch.
Our goal since the beginning has been to serve and delight you: our readers, listeners, and viewers. That's the one thing that'll never change. We love what we do and we're incredibly fortunate to have you here with us. We'll never forget that, and we'll keep working as hard and as smart as we can to keep you informed, entertained, and empowered. Your feedback is and always will be appreciated.
We have a lot planned for 2016—as does Apple—and we can't wait to share it with you.
Happy New Year!