What is the significance of the "apple.news" referrer in Chartbeat, and how does Chartbeat track visitors referred to our site via the News widget in iOS' Today View?
Apple.news will display as a referrer in your Real-time Dashboard (and throughout our historical tools) whenever a visitor clicks an embedded web-URL link from within the Apple News iOS app that opens a page to your mobile website. So, if an article in the Apple News app includes an embedded web URL to your site within its text, all users that tap this link will arrive to your mobile website in the Safari app and we will track them as apple.news referred.
The Apple News app, only available to iPhone users in particular geographic regions currently, is not the same as the News widget in iOS' Today View, which (conversely) is available to iPhone users around the world.
So how do we track visitors that select the featured article links in the News widget? Well, this widget works differently for iPhone users in different geolocations...
If you are in a region where the Apple News app is available, visitors that access your articles from the News widget will be sent directly to the Apple News app. If you have our Apple News Integration, your Apple News Chartbeat Dashboard will register this engagement with your content inside of the Apple News app.
If you are in a region where the Apple News app is not yet available, visitors that access articles from the News widget will be sent to your mobile website in the Safari app. Our tracking script is unable to identify the referrer for these direct-to-article web sessions, so these visitors will be tracked within our direct-social referrer category, "Email, apps, & IMs".