Created with Japanese company Uzabase, NewsPicks has enlisted industry experts such as Arianna Huffington and Richard Branson to curate and share their own input on selected stories.
Users can follow individual publications, keywords, and a select from a group of curators called ‘ProPickers' that includes Huffington and Branson, as well as Edgar Bronfman, Jr., managing partner at Accretive LLC, Harvey L. Pitt, former SEC chairman and chief executive officer of Kalorama, plus a range of other business leaders, journalists, authors, educators, philanthropists, artists, and politicians. Over 100 of these 'ProPickers' will be selected by the end of Q1 in 2018.
According to NewsPicks chief executive officer Ken Breen, it’s this pairing of news from these reputable publications “of consequence” as well as hand-picked curators that sets the publication apart, especially in the battle against “fake news”.
“There’s a lot of science that you can apply here.” Breen said. “The curation of news and the opportunity in and around the metrics of attribution, we can share this with our publisher partners, and our advertising partners when we’re ready to be an advertising play. All of that speaks to being able to give people greater depth that’s fresh, and provide that in a really safe environment.”
Arianna Huffington, founder of the HuffPost and Thrive Global, said of the project: “In this digital age, more than at any other time in history, it is absolutely vital to know where our news and information is coming from. I am delighted to be part of this team and look forward to sharing my personal news picks.”
To Breen, it's much bigger than headlines: “There’s a tendency at the moment that people’s consumption is becoming very limited. They read what they see, instead of getting engaged with the articles. We think when you post commentary alongside the right kind of articles, there’s a beautiful marriage that gets people much more out of the news experience.”
Breen also said he believed Newspicks will be an elegant way to deliver relevant information for themselves, publishers and end users. The goal is to elevate the news-reading experience via mobile but also look to corporations as partners to create rich content, and to use the NewsPicks app API for curating content internally for their own employees. The ProPickers, he hopes will provide deeper interactions outside of the app with their respective followings.
“The quality of our audience will come from the quality of the people we’re trusting to comment.” This mindset of curation seems to be the way forward by news publications being undermined by invalid sources becoming a long-term threat to society.
NewsPicks is currently on iOS, with an Android version available in the coming months.