A screenshot of Bloomberg

Bloomberg

A new tool that makes you smarter—and your news better.

Bloomberg Media is one of the world’s most important media companies, a trusted source of news, ideas, and business intelligence for the most influential people in the world. In 2017, Bloomberg worked with Postlight to bring a new layer of financial insight to any news article, from any website. The resulting product was available in two forms: As a shiny, new Chrome extension, and built into the core Bloomberg mobile app as a “share sheet” extension.

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What We Did
  • Product Design
  • Engineering
  • API Design
  • UX Design
  • iOS Engineering
  • Ad Engineering
Project Details
  • Custom Google DFP Ad Integration, Analytics
  • Custom data visualization
  • iOS App with share sheet functionality
  • Chrome Extension
  • Cross platform functionality between iOS and Chrome
  • Google analytics integration
  • Custom web parser

The power of experimentation

Not too long ago, Bloomberg was the nimble startup of the financial world, and its commitment to experimentation and speed allowed it to take on the big competitors of the day (like Reuters and Dow Jones). Although it’s now one of the largest private companies in the world, Bloomberg’s values remain the same: stay focused, experiment always.

Bloomberg identified Postlight as an innovation partner, and came to us with a blank slate, eager to build something new and different, quickly and across teams.

What technology does Postlight have that is special and powerful and great? What technology does Bloomberg have that is also special and powerful? And what product comes out when you smush them together?

Michael Shane, Global Head of Digital Innovation at Bloomberg


Bloomberg Lens on Mobile

Speed matters

Move fast when you start—then keep moving fast. When we started working together, Postlight proposed a process we call an IdeaJam to come up with tons of ideas in one contained day-long session. Then we drilled in on the one big idea that would showcase both Postlight and Bloomberg.

We never lost momentum after that. Working with Bloomberg, we thought this tool up, worked it out, designed it, built it, got it approved, and shipped it as part of the core Bloomberg app and to the Chrome web store in just a few months.

That’s fast for software, very fast for a partnership, and incredibly fast for a partnership between a very small product studio and one of the largest media companies in the world. One of the things we take pride in is that we partner well with large, complex organizations. There may be many stakeholders, but it’s the end user that matters, and both Bloomberg and Postlight made sure the focus stayed on that end user. What would she need? What would she find most useful?

Postlight IdeaJam


Straightforward and focused

We built this tool with a few guiding principles: be respectful to users, be respectful to the news it parses, and—don’t mess with anyone else’s monetization efforts. We created an experience that is purely additive: It makes the web better, gives you more information, it’s purely opt-in, and when you exit, it gets out of your way.

“In the back of my head, what I think about is, am I augmenting human intelligence? Am I doing something that makes people smarter? A lot of the things we make these days take away people’s time and attention, and I see this as a way to reward it.”

Paul Ford, Co-Founder, Postlight

You can see how this works with the Chrome extension. We created a shimmering icon that lets you know when there’s content available—no blinking, no bright colors. It’s a polite app. We don’t track you (on Chrome you don’t even log in).


How it worked in the end

We had a huge launch party with Postlight and Bloomberg, and the app was well-covered in the press. It was a chance for Bloomberg to remind people that it can innovate at scale, and for Postlight to remind everyone that we love working with the best.

And the app? It just keeps growing. It’s been featured in the Chrome Web Store, a core part of the Bloomberg mobile app, and a steadily growing and enthusiastic user base in daily contact with feature requests and new ideas—exactly what any product studio would want.

What people are saying about Bloomberg Lens

Poynter Nieman Lab The Media Briefing


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