Big Issue's edition in the North is being piloted in digital form this week.
The edition, which will exist alongside the print product , will go on sale for the first time in Manchester today.
It will be sold in the same way as the print edition – by a homeless person on the street – but will allow customers the option to purchase an access card with a code that can be scanned or entered onto smartphones.
The two different editions are available for the same price.
Caroline Price, director at The Big Issue in the North, said: “It is hoped that the digital edition will help the magazine, which has been in circulation in Manchester since 1992, continue to be a success.
“Manchester is the right place to trial the world's first digital street newspaper; we are a digitally savvy city with a vibrant young community who we hope will support this initiative.
“This is not about replacing our traditional print magazine; it is about moving with the times and giving people a choice in how they read the magazine.”
It is hoped that, following this Manchester trial, Streetwise in Chicago will also pilot a digital edition. If successful, the digital technology will be made available to all 122 street papers associated with the International Network of Street Papers.