Scoopinion is a news aggregation Web app that ‘curates’ news based on what you read.
It launched initially last summer, but then turned on its heels and pivoted from an ‘automatic social aggregation’ platform to a crowdcurated magazine, complete with a redesigned site. “That means that we dropped the visible social elements in the service,” said CEO Kobra Koskinen at the time. “Now, our users set the agenda according to their reading habits anonymously.”
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Launching initially by invite only, Scoopinion has now shed its beta tags, opening officially to the public today. So what’s new? “We now know that Scoopinion works,” says co-founder Johannes Koponen.
The idea behind Scoopinion is pretty straight forward and is underpinned by the notion of ‘frictionless sharing’ – the seamless sharing of content powered by social.
Once you sign in, you’re asked to install a browser app (Firefox or Chrome). It will take a little bit of time to learn what you like, but there is a little personalization to begin with. Indeed, it ‘kickstarts’ your profile by recognizing key elements from your browsing history, which is cross-referenced with Scoopinion’s ‘Whitelist’ to attain language settings and top news sites.
This so-called ‘Whitelist’ is a list of all the publications Scoopinion draws from. For example, there are more than 250 publications in English, from the BBC and The Sun, to The Financial Times and The Next Web. English has the most publications on board, followed by Finnish, German, Spanish and French.
In terms of this public launch, a few new features have been included for the latest incarnation – you can now share articles you are reading to Facebook and Twitter, directly from the upper right corner of your browser. And stories are recommended from there too:
We’re also told that it now has smarter tracking of reading patterns and speeds, tapping user input and screen position.
“We want to invite everyone to participate at Scoopinion to give value to each story they read,” says Koponen. “The users do this through their reading behavior – a previously untapped resource. Everyone who has the browser add-on installed approves the stories they read well, to be spread at Scoopinion.
It’s worth noting that Scoopinion is all about automation. And judging by the articles made available, it does seem to be more features-based than news, though there is a mix.
All the articles are rated according to users’ behavior, so without actively doing anything (other than reading) you ‘collaborate’ and rate articles, automatically recommending them to others.
Koponen and Co. have big plans for this Finnish startup. “We’ll be making a call-to-action for everyone to participate in the biggest crowdsourcing mission on the Internet,” he says. “Together, we’ll find the best stories, the ones that are worth reading. It’s going to be the best open platform for discovery – one that actually works.”