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Goodbye NYT Now, we hardly knew you

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Stuart Monk

If you’re of the opinion that nothing hits the Sunday spot quite like unfolding the full print edition of the New York Times, it seems that the newspaper agrees with you. Two years after introducing the NYT Now app, a curated list of stories aimed at a younger, digital-first audience, the Times has decided that this slightly watered-down version of the paper just wouldn’t do. On Thursday, the NYT announced that it would be officially shelving NYT Now, removing it from app stores beginning the week of August 29.

While NYT Now was initially meant to attract mobile users and boost revenue sources outside of print advertising and circulation, the experiment looks to have run its course. Indeed, the venerable publication said that “the app never quite took off as The Times had hoped.” Even at its best back in May 2015, NYT Now had just 334,000 total unique numbers. Last year, The Times notes, the app “transitioned from subscription [it was once $8 a month] to free in the hopes that the new model might give The Times more of an opportunity to expand its audience.”

According to Kinsey Wilson, The Times’ executive vice president for product and technology, the paper decided to abandon NYT Now in favor of third-party platforms like Facebook and Twitter to help reach younger readers. “That gave us a different ability to tap into younger audiences and to provide exposure to a much, much wider audience,” Wilson said.

But don’t worry, NYT Now fans. It’s not as though everything about the app is disappearing. The conversational tone, bulleted list formats, and even its morning and evening news briefings have been rolled into The Times’ main mobile app.

If you’re still looking for other NYT-related applications, you’re in luck. The main news app obviously still exists, as does the free food app NYT Cooking, and The Scoop, which is a guide to New York.

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