Your daily digest: Seven startups to help you filter through the news
It’s nothing new that online content means we are drowning in information. It’s difficult to filter through the news to find stories relevant to your business. With thousands of news outlets online the information available can be overwhelming, creating a need for something to shorten the process and cut out the noise you don’t need to hear.
This topic has been raised in the media recently, with major companies taking it upon themselves to find innovative ways of presenting the news that matters. Snapchat has developed a ‘Discover’ section, giving users the opportunity to scroll through media outlets such as The Daily Mail and Yahoo News to find out the top stories. Meerkat and Periscope have recently come to the fore, offering people the ability to live stream video from their mobiles onto Twitter. International news outlets such as Sky used Periscope during the Battle for No 10 programme to give viewers a behind-the-scenes look at the show. This is giving people an easy, new and exciting way to digest up-to-date news.
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Below are just a few of the startups with products available for everybody wanting to trim down the daily digest and get to the root of what’s important for them. For agencies, these tools are extremely helpful in staying on top of the news agenda without dedicating hours to trawling through media outlets.
‘The first news ranking site’ is a solid description of Brief Me which was app of the month on the App Store in March. The mobile app gives you the 10 most shared and consumed news headlines from the world’s leading outlets in real time. It also has six different sections to find the top trending story across specific areas of news.
Brief Me is the ideal app for agencies who want to find out what is popular at that moment and which stories are gaining the most traction. It’s one of the few to embrace video content, giving it the competitive edge as consumers increasingly choose video over text.
Circa is an app and website that provides a wealth of information for each story and links through to their sources. Unlike Brief Me, Circa has a wide range of smaller sources such as blogs and social media and doesn’t depend on large publications for content. The product has been updated regularly for the last four years based on suggestions from its users.
As well as collating news from around the world and dividing it into categories, Circa allows you to follow specific stories and sends you an email if there is an update.
Circa’s primary focus is its mobile application which has led to a very smooth and responsive app. The drawback is that its internet page is somewhat sparse – not much of a problem as we continue to demand info on the go.
Infobitt aims to do for news what Wikipedia did for encyclopedias. When you first open the website it has a very different layout compared to other apps: all the information can be seen on one page and is perfect for a quick glance.
Infobitt splits the top news items into categories and provides a brief description of each story. In addition, it provides the links to related articles across the web which gives the reader context including what has happened previously. Especially useful from a marketing perspective if you want to gain more information on a specific topic.
Created by Media Group of America, the iOS and Android app allows you to collate news articles that matter to you.
One of the massive benefits of Shuffle is its unique features – for example it is extremely easy to quickly share articles with your colleagues and friends, and also prompts you to mark articles you don’t find interesting, allowing the app to learn what not to send you. Businesses can take advantage of a feature to find the top trending articles in your location, enabling you to see what people are looking at in a specific area.
A pitfall for Shuffle is the fact that, like Brief Me, is only accessible through a smartphone, this means if you want to do an extensive search you won’t be able to use your computer.
Vox is a young editorial site that delivers simplified versions of leading news articles. They can be viewed through the Vox website or you can sign up to its newsletter and receive a daily update on the top stories of the day.
Each article is written by a member of the Vox team, with sources shown at the bottom of the page. The website doesn’t have categories, but it does have sections covering specific issues in the news. Like Infobitt, it explains the history behind the story in order to help you understand the subject.
Want to find publications that write about niche topics? Trove helps you find and share the news you find interesting.
It collates stories from thousands of sources, from major publications to small blogs, with the option to follow ‘troves’. The site and mobile app allow you to hand pick which categories you would like to view from social media marketing to digital privacy and security. These categories can be extremely specific, allowing advertisers to find relevant stories easily.
It can take a while to master all the different features on the website so don’t be perturbed if it seems complicated when you first open the site.
Built by the Economist, this app shares new content, and is uploaded five days a week. Every morning Economist Espresso informs you of what’s on the global agenda for the coming day, hand-picked by its editors across business, finance and politics.
It’s an extremely useful app for businesses, as it not only summarises each article, but also explains what the possible consequences could be for each sector. The main issue surrounding this app is that in order to read the stories you need to be subscribed to The Economist. So if you’re looking for a free app this isn’t the one for you.
Emi Gal is chief executive and co-founder of Brainient. Follow Emi on Twitter @emigal.