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New feature aims to get distracted or inactive users to engage further with Washington Post content

When a mobile user rapidly swipes past content or stops interacting, The Washington Post will deliver a “Re-Engage” unit that recommends content.

Today The Washington Post RED team launched a new product that delivers a tailored experience to users when they are inattentive or inactive on mobile web. In a guest blog post, The Post’s Director of Ad Product and Engineering Jarrod Dicker explains how “Re-Engage” is able to help recapture our audience’s attention.

It’s a question that plagues so many publishers: how can we get distracted and inactive users to engage further with our content? Today at The Washington Post, we’re introducing something that we hope will grab the attention of preoccupied users and spark their curiosity.

“Re-Engage” is a new feature that provides personalized content recommendations and appears when mobile users show signs of distraction or stop engaging with Post content when on article pages. We built this product in-house to engage with users at a time when they’re most likely to look elsewhere for relevant content.

Here’s how it works: when a mobile user is rapidly swiping past content or not interacting with it at all, we will deliver a “Re-Engage” unit that recommends content based on the user’s interests identified through our proprietary Clavis personalization system. The unit also leverages Bandito’s testing capabilities.

This video demonstrates how Re-Engage initiates upon inactivity and heavy scrolling:

At The Washington Post, we obsess over usability and delivery to build the best possible experiences. How a consumer engages with our apps, mobile web and site experiences builds the foundation to the products we produce, especially on the advertising side. Our consumers want Washington Post content, and our advertisers want to be associated with Washington Post content. Through products like “Re-Engage”, we build the bridge that connects and collaborates the two.

While “Re-Engage” is a product created by the business side, because it gives us information about user behavior, the newsroom will release it on various sections for a/b testing and performance. “Re-Engage” will then be available for sponsorships and branded content promotion. This is the third official product released by RED, the ad research experimentation and development group, at The Washington Post.