The news app that could save local news thanks to geolocation smartphone tech

A New York city-based start-up has created a local news app that aggregates an array of local news sources and presents them to readers based on their location.

The Blockfeed app gathers news from small blogs to established newspapers and geolocates them to users based on where they are when they open the app. It then redirects to the original source of the story, essentially acting as a local news source aggregation and distribution platform.

The app is due to be launched on Android today after going live on iOS last month. It is currently only available in New York however co-founder and CEO, Phil Perkins, plans to release it across the US.

The app uses social media to analyse the popularity of an article which then determines how far up the homepage it’s placed while also using an algorithm to determine the popularity in the context of the publication, ensuring smaller local newspapers can compete with the likes of the New York Times.

In an interview with Tech Crunch, Perkins said he is “gaining complete coverage of New York City with just one human editor” and argued that the app could start scaling out to multiple cities with “just a handful of editors, and ultimately be in every major American city with what you might consider a normal size staff for a publication.”

Advertisers could find the geolocation aspect of the app attractive if it functioned in the same way as the news was presented, meaning nearby businesses would have their ads shown if the users when within a certain radius of the business.

Tony Connelly

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