3D Issue sets eyes on mobile device market

Hubs allows publishers to extract content from online and package it in a mobile app

Paul McNulty: founder of Donegal-based 3D Issue

Paul McNulty: founder of Donegal-based 3D Issue

Donegal-based 3D Issue is targeting the mobile device market with a new product that allows publishers to extract content from online sources and package it in a mobile app.

The platform, called Hubs, can also be used to aggregate content from social feeds such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram, along with blogs, news, alerts and feeds, into a web publication.

Founder Paul McNulty said Hubs was the result of a number of years of work. The average content owner has about 13 different platforms, from Instagram to YouTube, he explained.

Simplify the process

Hubs was designed to simplify the process for these content owners, creating an auto-updating publication that provides live content on demand.

The tech firm, which already provides a platform for creating and publishing interactive digital content, has also put in place a system to ensure that third party content ownership rights are respected; although Hubs users can pull in feeds from other content owners, if they do not have the rights to use the content, the amount of text displayed will be minimal, and a link to the owner will be included.

3D Issue has already signed up the Chicago Sun-Times to use the product to look after its regional news apps, which includes more than 90 different apps.

“It was a classic buy versus build strategy with them,” Mr McNulty said. “They were looking to aggressively grow their network.” During the course of their research, the Sun Times came across the beta version of the Hubs API that 3D Issue was working on, and after some communication with the company, the deal was struck before Hubs even launched. Within a month, the 3D Issue technology was absorbed into the Sun Times’s workflow, and its success is, Mr McNulty said, a validation of the product.

Improve user experience

“We believe media and news is best executed as a mix of aggregated, curated and original content as, in the end, customers and readers want well organised information delivered to them in a variety of ways,” said Timothy Landon, chief executive of the Sun Times Network.

“The Chicago Sun-Times already features a number of specialist technologies to improve user experience and Hubs integrates well with our existing technology stack. As a result of this strategy, our audience has more than doubled in 90 days and that upwards trend is continuing.”

The company is no stranger to large clients. Its existing products, which include Flipbooks and eBooks, have more than 10,000 customers in more than 100 countries. Its client list includes Google, Nasa and the NFL, which used the Flipbooks software to produce the digital programme for the Superbowl final.

The firm currently employs 24 people and McNulty said he hopes to increase that to 40 within 18 months.