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How FOCUS Online Transforms the News Experience with Storyly

Kaan Uyanık
September 20, 2022


FOCUS Online is a German media company distributing news content across digital platforms published by Burda Forward. FOCUS Online reaches 27M unique users (AGOF digital facts) per month across their digital platforms, including their mobile app.

The traditional news content format is a text-heavy scrolling experience. However, today’s mobile users are more engaged by visually captivating, interactive content experiences. FOCUS Online was looking for ways to create evergreen content that met today’s audience expectations for rich media. Naturally, FOCUS Online was also hoping that with this new and dynamic method of content presentation, there might be more opportunities for monetization. Storyly offered the perfect solution to meet their needs. 


Interactive Storytelling in a News App

Right before the German elections, FOCUS Online went live with stories. The FOCUS Online team used Storyly’s Content Management System to create their own stories with rich visuals building strong narratives. Storyly Studio enabled them to start with images or videos and add various components like CTAs, interactive stickers, and GIFs. 

FOCUS online also uses deep links to let users open stories with different actions. With Storyly, they’re able to play single stories with specific messages, which gives them the flexibility to utilize Storyly in different places throughout the app such as news feeds and special interest sections.

By using interactive stickers in their stories, FOCUS Online is able to take the pulse of their audience any time, in real time. The blank canvas that Storyly provides gives them a creative space where they can deliver interactive content allowing FOCUS Online editors to ask users their opinion on the latest elections, sports events, daily news, and more.

Carrying Stories into Web

After the success of app stories, the FOCUS Online web team was also interested in implementing stories for the FOCUS Online website.  Storyly Web Stories provided FOCUS Online with a web story experience with super-fast loading speeds and familiar interactions similar to social media stories. Even better, adding Storyly Web Stories to the website enriched their media offerings without sacrificing page speed. 

The FOCUS Online web team utilizes many of the same features as in-app stories. The layer structure of web stories enables them to put engaging and creative elements like videos, GIFs, and interactive stickers on stories. The high-quality storytelling format allows FOCUS Online to expand their audience to all ages who search for and consume news content on their mobile devices while the interactive and colorful nature of web stories drives reader attention. By turning text-based content into fun story experiences, the FOCUS Online web team creates irresistible snack-sized content to serve readers who open their mobile phones for news.

Monetization with Story Ads

To further increase their revenue, FOCUS Online uses Storyly to attract business partners with the premium engagement opportunity of story ads. Storyly opens up a new layer for FOCUS Online to deliver sponsored content. The commercial team at FOCUS Online is able to monetize in-app stories through partnerships with global brands who benefit from a native advertising opportunity. 

The full-screen canvas also enables brands to create compelling content with video, interactive stickers, and CTAs that drive business results. The engaging experience encourages users to swipe up and explore more about the sponsored content. Sponsored stories are a win-win situation both for FOCUS Online as a publisher and for the brands as advertisers.


With such rich engagement opportunities, it’s easy to see how Storyly was able to add value to FOCUS Online’s content delivery strategy, as well as improve their monetization model. But the numbers speak for themselves. The average user spent 34 seconds viewing FOCUS Online stories, and Story Ads boasted a click-through rate of 27%, a clear success for FOCUS Online’s partnership with Storyly.

Do you want to increase your session time as FOCUS Online did?

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