For the past year I’ve been working with my team to conceive of what would be the best news product in the world. It’s a huge mission and with the launch of Inside we take the first step.
We decided that the best news product in the world today would have the following characteristics:
1. It would be mobile — specifically for smartphones
2. It would be real-time
3. It would be fact-filled
4. It would connect folks to the world’s best journalism
5. It would respect the reader’s time
When we researched the space we found a ton of great journalism in the world, but it was being drowned out by a lot of “other” stuff. Mainly link-baiting, reblogging and generally low-quality content.
Readers need help navigating this new world filled with social media, blogging and stories breaking in real time — be it on Reddit, Twitter or blogs.
Inside is an app that’s available today on your iPhone, Blackberry and mobile web browser. An Android version will be coming soon.
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Here’s how it works:
1,000 Updates a Day
Every day a team of curators find the 1,000 most important and fascinating stories in the world and the journalists who did the best job telling those stories. They write a 300-character “update” on the story and link directly to the source. These updates have a short “embedded headline,” generally contain 10 facts and are categorized in up to three topics.
What they don’t contain is fluff, bias or deceptive headlines.
They are designed, like our entire product, to save you time.
Your Personalized Feed
You can vote any update up or down, which will customize your “My Feed.” The /myfeed is where you get the stories you care most about. There are two other feeds in the app: /allupdates(where you can see all updates to the system in real-time) and /topnews (where you can see the 25 stories of the day as selected by our curators).
We’re sort of like Pandora for news.
Swiping The Deck
We decided to use the metaphor of a feed for our app with one very important difference: the hidden deck of cards. When you’re on an update about the /stateoftheunion or the/grammys, you can use your thumb to slide the update to the left (grab the image!) and reveal the previous update in that topic.
With over 20,000 updates a month you’ll be able scroll and slide the deck to your heart’s delight without ever using anything other than your thumb.
[ Note: We are not responsible for any thumb fatigue or injury you may incur. ]
We’re not sure exactly where this journey will lead, but we know that news is critically important to our society and we want to showcase the amazing journalism occurring today by doing the best curation in the world.
We take our responsibility for selecting stories and sources extremely seriously, and we hope you challenge us and let us know how we are doing often. You can post your comment under any update or email the firstname.lastname@example.org any time with your thoughts.