Bay Area Publisher Gets Ready to Test Mobile News App

In yet another sign of the way tablets and Smarphones are altering how on-the-go consumers expect to be able to consume local headlines, Bay Area News Group—parent company of the San Jose Mercury News, the Oakland Tribune, and other newspapers–is about to launch something called TapIn Bay Area.

The idea is to present users with an interactive digital news map, within which both the content and associated secondary tab links change depending on where the geographical cursor is pointed. In an interview with the Columbia Journalism Review, app co-creator Luke Stangel outlines the significance of the TapIn beta:

“If the app is successful, MediaNews is going to replicate the model in Los Angeles because they own the LA News group. MediaNews is also hoping to bring it to the Denver market since they own the Denver Post and a few Denver community newspapers. I know that they are really eager to see how this launch goes so we can get into the other major markets that they own.

Foursquare and seven years ago, whatever went down on Lincoln Street and other neighborhood thoroughfares was packaged mainly for the evening news and the following morning’s Metro sections. Those times now seem about as ancient as Abe’s stovepipe hat.