Publishers learn from Flipboard with personalization efforts
In response to Flipboard and demand for personalized news consumption, media companies are incubating their own vehicles to consume news in more personalized and social ways. Mashable recently launched beta personalization features on its site, and at least three publishers — The New York Times, The Washington Post and Yahoo — will soon be launching websites or apps incorporating personalization.
The personalization of news has been a popular topic in the last year or so, but it's now taking root at media companies, fueled in part by the growth of news consumption through mobile devices and social media. Apps like Flipboard and Pulse demonstrate new personalized, social and aggregated ways to consume news. While the developers of these apps are looking to team with publishers, more media companies are launching their own products.
The efforts are the next step in the evolution of customizable news pages (like a Google News on every homepage, e.g. My Times); those earlier experiments are now being enhanced through layers of personalization, aggregation/curation and social media. Here are four experiments in creating personalized news channels.
News.Me ― The New York Times recently announced News.Me, a social news reading app for the iPad. The app is much more in tune with Flipboard than The Daily, according to an early look from TechCrunch. The app presents the news from the post popular links shared by people you follow on Twitter. It will enable the user to share content or save it to read later. No release date has been announced.
Trove ― The Washington Post is launching a service in March incorporating both social and aggregation features for a personalized news consumption experience. Trove seeks to create a balance between “news that editors think you should know about versus the news you want to know about,” according to Mashable. The site will include aggregated stories picked from editors around the Web and ask the reader to choose the channels and topics they care about. It can also link up to Facebook accounts to garner even more information.
Livestand ― Livestand is Yahoo's answer to the tablet market, going head to head with recently announced digital newsstands from Google and Apple, as well as apps like Flipboard. Yahoo unveiled the app, set to launch sometime in the first half of the year. The content will be taken from Yahoo and other outlets and personalized based on interests, location and even the time of day.
The platform is recruiting publishers to offer content alongside magazine-style advertising (subscriptions will also be a possibility, according to paidContent). According to the Yahoo blog: “This ultra personalized content experience is our vision for Livestand from Yahoo! — a digital newsstand, delivering a wealth of ever-changing content from multiple publishers, continuously programmed by a person’s interests and contexts.”
Mashable Follow ― Mashable isn't launching a whole new site/app, but it's incorporating a layer of personalization onto its existing website. Mashable Follow, which entered beta testing this month, is Mashable's way of evolving from a “purely editor-driven news site to becoming a true news community,” founder Pete Cashmore said in a post. Among other things, Mashable's new layer allows users to select the topics they want to follow and easily share through several venues at once (see demo).
Will any or all of the above experiments in personalized news consumption take off? While still being tweaked, the products demonstrate that personalization may represent the next wave of innovation for media companies.
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