News.me: The Amalgamation of Two Rising Trends



News.me launched today. It’s an iPad app and an email service.

If you sign up for the free email service you get an email each morning with a handful of links to articles that News.me thinks you’ll be interested in. The list is based on a combination of your Twitter stream and what links are most popular on the bit.ly servers.

The iPad app is the bigger news, however. It’s free to download, offers a 7-day trial, and then will cost you a $.99/week subscription fee.1

Part of your weekly subscription fee will go directly to publishers — similar to how Readability works. Each time a web page is viewed within the News.me iPad app then that publisher gets paid by News.me. In order to get paid you have to sign up as a publisher and license your content to News.me.

From my brief use of the app today, the idea is quite similar to Flipboard (News.me even has similar “folding” transitions as you navigate between headlines and articles). I think it’s obvious that this is the direction things are going with news — as readers we want to know what our friends are interested in and what they are reading. But it’s not a Flipboard clone. News.me is bringing a few new ideas to the table:

  • Using some sort of bit.ly algorithm certain links and sites are given more weight and thus more likely to show up in your news stream. Meaning, it’s a bit more than just a list of the links in your Twitter stream.

  • You can scroll through the Twitter stream of others and see what their suggested reading list looks like.

  • Publishers get a kickback when you read their stuff.

So, in short, the advantages of News.me over apps which are similar to it are: (a) it’s supposedly smarter; (b) it lets you “look over your friend’s shoulders” at what they are reading; and (c) you’re financially supporting the sites you read.

What I like most about News.me is that it’s an amalgamation of two rising trends:

  • Our desire to curate our own news feeds via our social networks.
  • Our desire to support the sites we read.

  1. They say you can subscribe for a whole year at only $35, but I didn’t see that option. Perhaps the annual discount is only visible once you’ve tapped on the $0.99/week sign-up button.