One of the big challenges for the iPad only paper launched by News Corp. was that its content lived inside the walled garden of an app, which means it doesn’t get picked up in search results, the biggest driver of traffic alongside social. And now it seems like even the social side of readership is falling off, fast.
When folks do share a story from The Daily via a service like Twitter, it gets posted to the web as a static image, which is a pretty poor experience. Users can’t expand photos within the article or clink on any links to related stories or ongoing coverage.
Maybe that’s why social activity has been falling, down to roughly a quarter of what it was back in early February when The Daily launched. According to a piece at the Nieman Journalism Lab, daily readers were sending out over 200 tweets per day the second week of February, compared to around 50 the last day of March.
Both of those data points are pretty alarming, considering that News Corp. has said hundreds of thousands of people downloaded the app. Sure, their audience probably is the trigger happy types from sites like Mashable or HuffPo, who rack up hundreds and even thousands of tweets on single story. But for a fully fledged news staff producing a sizeable paper each day, 50 tweets is an alarmingly low level of activity.