An official introduction to The Daily, Rupert Murdoch’s new iPad newspaper, is expected on Jan. 19, possibly at an event with Apple’s Steve Jobs. [Update: The launch date has now been pushed back.]
But peeking inside the source code of its recently-launched companion website, TheDaily.com, I came across the image below, which appears to be a house ad for the new app.
The Daily staff has reportedly been producing sample editions of the tablet app for several weeks, so the covers shown here may represent that work.
The two headlines read, “Oprah’s Biggest Gamble” and “A Bridge Too Favre.” Aside from the pithy writing style and photo-dominated front page, it is difficult to discern much else about the personality or content of the publication.
The URL for the image, named “side_ad.jpg,” was embedded in the CSS for the new website. And, a few other clues may also have been buried in the site’s source code.
A section labeled “Story Carousel” includes links to icons that seem intended to function as forward and back buttons for paging through a selection of articles.
Another part of the code, labeled “Share Links,” may indicate the availability of Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Reddit and Newsvine article sharing options.
The appearance of social media options seems to align with earlier reporting that The Daily website would serve as an archive of tablet-first content — available for staffers to link to from Facebook, Twitter and other services.
In the “Footer” section, along with Twitter and Facebook, are links to icons for both Vimeo and YouTube.
Even more unclear is how the app, which will be available at a $4.25 monthly subscription, will integrate with a possibly free, though potentially limited, website. Evidence of a password-protected section of the site exists, but it is not apparent if that represents public-facing or administrative features.
Hopefully all of those questions, and more, will be answered next Wednesday when Murdoch and Jobs are rumored to appear on stage together for the official unveiling.