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The Independent opens US web office

As The Independent revealed its best ever audience figures, it also yesterday announced the creation of a new digitally focused US office.

Andrew Buncombe, formerly the newspaper’s Washington correspondent before becoming Asia correspondent, has moved to the role of US digital editor, joining the existing US editor, David Usborne, in New York. A number of new positions will be added in the coming months, in both the New York and London offices, say the publishers.

Two new social media accounts will promote the higher levels of US-specific content: @IndyUSA on Twitter and IndependentUS on Facebook.

The plans are announced as record-breaking traffic levels show that the unprecedented growth of throughout 2014 is continuing into 2015, says The Independent.

January’s ABC figures highlight the expansion of the title’s worldwide digital reach, with global monthly unique browsers up 53% year on year to 52.5 million. Meanwhile, UK monthly unique browsers have risen 47% since January 2014, to 20.2 million.

For the first time, this month The Independent also exceeded 200 million global page views, with 100 million page views in the UK.

The figures include the growing audience for i100 which attracted 5.2m unique browsers in January, passing 5 million for the first time, in only its sixth month since launch.

The plan to further develop the coverage of US news underlines Independent Digital’s commitment to expanding its business even further. The new office will help The Independent serve to an increasingly worldwide audience and particularly its readers in the US.

Christian Broughton, Digital Editor of The Independent and i100, said: “These new record figures are testament to the excellent teams we now have in place on and It’s an exciting time for us. We have a big combined platform now, and big ambitions. We’re expanding the editorial staff again over the year ahead, adding new specialisms and building on existing strengths. The US office has two key targets: to extend our US news coverage for our global audience, and to serve our US audience, which accounts for a third of the total, better than ever before.”