Product Updates + Strategy

Apple News: Getting Started

Apple News: Getting Started

Apple News collects all the stories you want to read so that you no longer need to move from app to app to stay informed. It's the perfect news feed — customizable, easy to read, and addictive.

In this article, we're going to do a breakdown on how to treat content once you are in Apple News. If you want information on how to get accepted to Apple News, please take a look at this guide and this News Publisher sign up page.


What Is the Apple News Format?

Apple's News format is a custom JavaScript Object Notation (JSON) document format that lets you create signature content for Apple News publishing. The most fascinating element of Apple News is how it structures the feed for each user into a personalized stream where the user can pick which topics they'd like to see and media publishers fill it.

What Layout Do I Have Out of the Box From RebelMouse?

We do our Apple News format using HTML markup (not markdown syntax, which is also an option), and this is roughly how the out-of-the-box version looks like:

If you'd like a more personalized version, please contact your account manager so we can discuss an implementation.

How Do I Start Publishing to Apple News?

1) Sign in to News Publisher

You can do so by going to http://www.icloud.com/newspublisher.

2) Provide publisher and channel information

You'll also need to provide additional information to set up your channel. When you're finished, click Next.

3) Upload a logo

You now have the option to upload a channel logo and cover image. (Note: You can skip this step.) Make sure your logo is a PNG file with a minimum size of 256 pixels square. The file size limit is 2 MB. Click here for more details about logo specifications.

The cover image appears in the Discover view in Apple News. You can find it in the Apple News Settings menu:

You can update your channel logo in the same Settings interface:

4) Choose a publishing format

Next, you can choose from two different publishing methods: RSS feed (there's no change in user experience, which means you can't use Apple's article format) or the Apple News format, which optimizes your content for iOS devices.

Please choose Apple News Format.

To use Apple's News format for your content, all you have to do is to click Sign Up for Apple News Format. Once you click the button, your application will automatically be sent in for review.

5) Submit articles for approval

After you're approved as a publisher, you're required to submit some articles for review. To do this, you can either create an article in News Publisher or use your existing content management system (CMS).

In RebelMouse, you can choose any of the articles you have already created and choose to submit them to Apple News. See below for more details.

In each case, Apple reviews your articles and notifies you as soon as your content is approved. After that, you can publish without further review.

6) Enter Apple News information into RebelMouse's Global Settings

You will need to insert Apple News API key, Apple News API secret, and Apple News channel id in your site's back end. You can find this information in your News Publisher account.

To do this, first navigate to our Layout & Design Tool, then go to Global Settings. Scroll down and enter the information:

How to Enable Apple News per Post From Entry Editor

When you add a new post or edit an existing one, you can choose whether to publish it to Apple News or not.

In Entry Editor, you'll find a tab on the right-hand side of the interface that says Social Copy. This is where you can find the toggle for Apple News.

If it's the first time you're publishing to Apple News, the content you choose to toggle on in Entry Editor will be sent for review. All articles will appear in your iCloud account and Apple will notify you once they are approved and good to go.

Guidelines for Content: What Is Okay to Publish in Apple News and What Isn't

Not all embeds are supported in Apple News. Here's a breakdown:

  • Facebook video embeds are not supported.
  • Facebook post embeds are supported.
  • YouTube embeds are supported, but please bear in mind that they are not included in Apple News's native analytics tracking.
  • Twitter embeds are supported.
  • Instagram post embeds are supported.
  • JW Player is partially supported. If you use our native integration, we can output it properly and track stats within Apple News for those videos. If you do not have it connected through our platform, it's possible it won't be supported by Apple's News format.
  • Ads in your articles that you may have added via our Ad Manager arenot supported. (For more information on ads, please see below.)

Apple News's Native Stats

Please bear in mind that native stats in Apple News do not count video plays from third-party providers.

When you click on the videos section in the JW Player Admin Dashboard and scroll to the very bottom of the page, they say that " These metrics do not include videos hosted on third-party websites such as YouTube and Vimeo."

How to Monetize Apple News

Apple has their own ad campaign management tool called Workbench. For more information, please check out their guide here. After you've set up your ads in Workbench, please contact your account manager or support@rebelmouse.com so that we can make an update on our end. We can set ads frequency from 0–10 (with 0 being no ads, and 10 being the highest amount of ads). Please let us know what frequency you prefer.

After that, if you are new to Apple News, you should be all set to go. If you've been publishing to Apple News for a while and need to make sure this change takes effect on older posts, please let your account manager know. We will need to run a script, which may take about two hours of developer work for our team, to refresh the ads frequency on those already-published posts. Please note that RebelMouse does not have control over ad placements in Apple News.

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