The goal of offering truly personalised news is one that has spurred a number of different approaches, from News.me‘s smart curation of Twitter feeds, to Flipboard‘s magazine-style presentation of recently shared stories. Newsmix used to take similar direction to these, but now it’s all about sharing personalised lists of news sources with others.
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Each source in a playlist is an individual – be it a journalist, an expert, a celebrity, or other person. Each playlist is based around a theme – be that a developing story or a type of source. Links shared by the members of each playlist are shared in an easy to read magazine format, as with previous versions of the app, although source’s stand-alone tweets are displayed too – after all, news is often broken on Twitter these days.
As with some other apps of its kind, many articles can be read in full from the app – great for the user, but maybe not pleasing to all publishers (although there’s a ‘Read on the Web’ link too). Articles look great – with a stripped-down ‘Instapaper-style’ look. However, individual tweets from that don’t contain links tend to look a bit lonely when expanded out into a full screen view. Perhaps presenting them in a larger, more visually pleasing font would help here.
Newsmix relaunches today with 20 playlists, and more being added every day. Sobees plans to launch a tool to allow users to curate their own playlists in early 2012. The Newsmix Web app, plus its iPad, iPhone and Facebook apps, launch new versions today in order to support the new focus.
The relaunch sets Newsmix on a different path from its closest competitors, one that more closely resembles Twitter’s Lists feature than the individual article curation of most other apps that look to redefine news consumption. Whether or not ‘playlist’ is the right word for a curated list of news sources is debatable, but it’s certainly one that will chime with consumers used to sharing playlists of music.
We’ll certainly watch the progress of Newsmix’s new direction with interest in 2012.