On July 6th I was invited by telecommunication company Optus to attend an exclusive event at Sydney’s Centennial Homestead. During the event I learned that Optus has been quite busy partnering with National Geographic on a world first mobile app. Being a nature lover I found this a pretty amazing feat, and I quickly discovered that the app is extremely well designed.
National Geographic has been producing content now for 129 years and is one of the most iconic brands in the world, with one of the largest non-celebrity social media followings in existence. Over the life of the magazine there has been an immense amount of content created, whether it be video, photographs or articles. This app allows users to access the entire National Geographic catalogue in a very intuitive and user friendly way.
The app offers a very personalised experience. Upon opening for the first time it records your content preferences so that it can suggest videos, photos and articles to you which are relevant to your interests. This all comes together on the “For You” tab within the app, which basically curates giant array of content into bite sized pieces for you to enjoy. The app also learns from the content that you search for and view, meaning that the suggestions become even more relevant over time.
The app has also been designed so that each piece of content is connected to the next by relevance. This means that for each video you watch, another one will be suggested that is tied to the prior one – allowing you to learn even more about a particular subject.
Apart from the “For You” tab there are dedicated tabs for each kind of content. The “Watch” tab has access to all of the videos on the app, suggesting new video content that you haven’t watched before. This section also has live Nat Geo TV streams, and an explorer bar which is an intuitive way to discover video content. The “Look” tab is all about photos and features, the Nat Geo photo of the day and the Nat Geo Instagram feed, one of the largest accounts on Instagram. The “Read” tab provides access to all of the Nat Geo magazines, and also various web-only articles. The reading time of each article is displayed at the top of the selection, meaning the user can determine if they will have enough time to complete reading the article before they move onto their next task. As with a lot of reading apps the background and font size of the articles can be changed along with the script.
Finally there is a “Search” tab which allows you to discover content related to your search terms. Each search result is broken up into the familiar format of “Watch”, “Look”, and “Read” which I found to be an incredibly intuitive way to display the content. Having a powerful search tool integrated into the app is probably one of the best features because there is so much content available, and this helps you to discover what you really want to see.
The app is now available on both the iOS app store and the Google Play stores. I find quite amazing that the app is free for eligible Optus customers and depending on what plan you are on, the data used in the app is completely un-metered.
You can read more about the app and how it works over on the Optus website at the link below.