The New York Times has added an update to its things-to-do app The Scoop that promotes the new Citibank-sponsored bike-sharing system. The new feature is a map, carrying a "sponsored" label, that gives real-time information about the location and availability of Citi Bikes.
Unlike The Scoop's usual recommendations for restaurants, bars, art openings and other diversions, the guide is advertising content sponsored by Citi Bike.
"This marks the first time The New York Times will feature content from an advertiser in a mobile application outside of an advertising unit," the company said.
Alexandra Hardiman, the Times' executive director of mobile products, told TechCrunch that the feature is "part of a larger strategic relationship" with Citibank. The Citi Bike smartphone app will soon include listings from The Scoop.
While the Times mobile unit found a way to seamlessly integrate a service that might be useful otherwise, Hardiman that the sponsored content will be clearly demarcated from editorial content with a Citi logo.
"There will be no confusion for users about whether or not they're looking at a piece of advertiser content," Hardiman told TechCrunch.