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The NY Times' dying app might leave a larger legacy

NYT Now was aimed at younger consumers, but failed to gain the desired traction.

David Priest Former editor
David Priest is an award-winning writer and editor who formerly covered home security for CNET.
David Priest
Mike Coppola, Getty Images

The New York Times announced today that it will be retiring its NYT Now app. The app, launched in 2014, was developed to reach a younger audience than the broader Times readership. For a reduced subscription price of $8, users could access a curated collection of daily stories. The app will become unavailable to download starting the last week of August.

In many ways, the travails of the NYT Now app reflect larger movements in the news industry. Last year, the app shifted from an $8 subscription-based service to a free one -- once again, in an effort to reach younger and more "mobile-savvy" readers. But now the NY Times is shifting its focus to optimize its presence on social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter.

The report also noted that the tonal decisions for NYT Now -- such as casual writing and more bullet-pointed lists -- will not be dispatched with the app. Instead, those features have already carried over into the main content of the publication as a whole.