The Independent launches Chrome browser plug-in

The Independent has launched a plug-in for the Google Chrome internet browser yesterday that alerts readers when new articles are published on its website.

The Independent News Notifier, which was built by Idio, can be installed for free and allows users to customise the subject areas from which they wish to receive news – each time a new article is published on a chosen subject it is displayed on the browser toolbar.

The plug-in also features direct links to Twitter, Facebook and Digg, to enable easy sharing of news headlines.

Jimmy Leach, editorial director for digital at The Independent, told Press Gazette: “It’s simply a neat way of allowing users to access our content in a way which suits them.

“By delivering the news within a browser, it means they can keep up without that bother of actually visiting a site.”

A further addition to The Independent’s website is the ‘News Wall’, an application that presents the news in a visual form by replacing the traditional headline with a clickable image.

News organisations have been developing plug-ins for several year however the launch last year of Google’s Chrome gave them a new outlet for their news feeds.

Leach said despite the two new applications The Independent was still catching up with its competitors online.

He said: “The News Notifier is convenient, but not a game changer, I admit. I think they [the Notifier and News Wall] are neat ways of delivering news, and they may be a point of difference with competitors, but we’re still playing catch-up.

“The News Notifier, which updates every 60 seconds, allows users to customise their news alerts by selecting from the categories of News, Environment, Sport, Lifestyle, Culture, Travel and Money.”

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