The Daily Telegraph is the UK’s largest newspaper in terms of circulation, The paper was also one of the first to adopt digital distribution, launching its first web site in 1994. They’ve had a mobile site for while too but I never really paid much attention to it as it’s a £5/month subscription deal. The pay version still seems to be available but I guess not many people were willing to pay the equivalent of $10/month to read the news on a mobile phone as the Telegraph launched a free mobile service in April.
The new site comes in three variants.
- A “Standard’ text-only one at telegraph.co.uk/mobilebasic
- An “Enhanced” version at telegraph.co.uk/mobile which adds 300 px wide images to the body of about half the news items.
- A text-only “WAP” edition (telegraph.co.uk/mobilewap) using legacy WML markup instead of HTML.
Other than the presence of images and minor layout difference all three versions are identical, consisting of 28 news items organized into News, Sports and Travel sections. The Telegraph doesn’t automatically redirect mobile devices to the most appropriate version based on the their capabilities but for most phones either the standard or enhanced versions should both be fine. If you are paying for data by the kilobyte the images on enhanced version add about 15 KB per page.
The content on the site is good but there needs to be more of it. 28 stories is nothing compared with the BBC and other major world newspapers, including The New York Times, which put hundreds of stories, essentially their entire content, on the mobile web. Unlike those other sites, the Telegraph’s mobile site carries no advertising. I think they ought to go ad-supported. Without advertising there’s no revenue and thus no incentive to drive traffic with more features and content.
Mobile Link: telegraph.co.uk/mobile
Ratings: Content: Usability: