Since the start of the year, our mobile and tablet audience has regularly outnumbered those of you visiting BBC News Online on desktop, so the timing is right to increase our editorial focus significantly on these platforms. To do this, I have appointed Nathalie Malinarich to the new role of Editor, Mobile and New Formats.
The role will help us meet the needs of our rapidly growing mobile audience. We've averaged 53.2 million weekly global browsers across January and February this year. I've talked before on this blog about the efforts we've made to provide the best possible service on mobile, so it's great to see that in this time, half of our global browsers have been on a mobile or tablet and at weekends this figure grows to 60%,.
Nathalie, who was previously the World Editor of News Online, has been working successfully on our mobile platforms for the past few months, helping us to sharpen our understanding of what works best as BBC News Online goes through a number of changes. Last week I wrote about the work under way on a new responsive tablet and desktop site which will mean changes to the existing desktop site. It is designed to be simpler than our existing desktop site and, of course, optimised for different screen sizes.
You can give us feedback on the responsive site by completing this survey. And you can find out more on the responsive site as it takes shape.
Over the next week or two some of you may notice a more prominent link on the front page of the BBC News website to a new beta version of the site which we are working on, for tablet and desktop.
More than 40% of traffic to our site now comes from mobiles and tablets and with this in mind we will be moving to a responsive design which works equally well across various screen sizes. We want a site which offers the best possible experience to users, no matter what combination of device, browser or connection they are using.
In fact we already have a responsive site which is the default now if you go to bbc.co.uk/news on a mobile. You can also get to it at any time on tablet and desktop if you scroll right down to the bottom of any BBC News page and follow the (very small) "mobile site" link in the page footer. We'd like to get your feedback as we develop it, so we'll be putting a more prominent link which will be visible to a percentage of users at any one time. The link will be in the form of a graphic banner (see below) and we hope more people will use it to get to the beta site and tell us what they think, as we develop the service.
If you choose to view the beta, you will be taken to the responsive site which will display a banner asking for feedback.
What's different about the beta?
My colleague Niko Vijayaratnam in the BBC Future Media News product team which is building the beta site has written about it in more detail on the BBC Internet Blog, where you can also leave comments and queries.
As he says, it is designed to be simpler than our existing desktop site, so as easy - or easier - to use and of course optimised for different screen sizes. It is still a work-in-progress, and there will be updates to it over the next few weeks and months, but we'd love to hear what you think so we can incorporate your feedback. And, as Niko says, we plan to roll out the responsive site more widely only once we are happy that it exceeds the high standards we've set ourselves on the existing site.