The original idea pitched to our team was a Cartoon Network app that was Vine meets Wario Ware. I'm not sure that's exactly where it ended up but that was the jumping off point. The idea eventually morphed into what we call a micro-network. It is an endless stream of various types of content that's all around 15 seconds in length.
Early App Stage
We met with vendors to help flesh this app out due to the concurrent work of the Cartoon Network Site Redesign. The great thing about this app is that the app itself doesn't have a lot to it. The user swipes from content to content. They can access Likes and a few other things but the app itself is mostly a shell for pieces of content. The vendor did a great job at putting together a simple but usable design very quickly.
Early Content Stage
The content was going to be what the success of this app hinged on. We had several brainstorms to come up with all kinds of content that we could create. We would eventually start to bucket those ideas into categories that would define how the content was constructed.
There were three big things I was aiming for in creating a custom CMS for Cartoon Network Anything. First, I wanted the creation of content to be quick and easy. We worked out templates so producers could essentially fill out forms to create the necessary content. We also created a QR system so that using the app and the CMS allowed us to easily QA specific pieces of content.
Secondly, I wanted to be able to find pieces of content quickly and easily. We created a robust and multi-factored search feature so that producers could quickly find the content they were looking for. They can then either batch edit or edit individual pieces of content as needed.
Lastly, I wanted quick reporting within the CMS. This gives us a few high level details we need to keep the product successful on an ongoing basis. It allows us to make sure we maintain balances of the types of content and the properties from which those content are based. It also allows us to quickly see the number of views and likes any content has.
We launched on October 9th of 2014. The network has had steady promotion since then. The app and the network are in a symbiotic relationship in that the network promotes to the app from on-air and the app helps promote the network by building content around new shows, specials, and stunts. The app has actually grown in popularity and continues to do very well. The 15 seconds rule has given us the freedom to test new and stranger content with very low risk.