Media future

BuzzFeed releases long-discussed news app


BuzzFeed released the news app for phones that it has been working on since at least last year. Kind of a big thing for BuzzFeed, says Poynter.

The app’s launch represents a big milestone for BuzzFeed News, which has assembled a team of editorial and product staffers from a variety of publications — including the Los Angeles Times, The New Republic and the Financial Times — to create a mobile product that would showcase work from its increasingly ambitious news division.

“When you think about a lot of news apps — and just thinking about mobile development [in general,] usually it’s like: You take a website and then you shrink it. Or you cut stuff out and now you have a mobile website, or now you have an app,” said Noah Chestnut, the app’s product lead. “And what we were trying to do was think about how to build an app that we want that would inform us.”

BuzzFeed — typically considered a new media innovator — is late to the game considering some of its competitors, including The New York Times, The Associated Press and NPR, already have standalone news apps. But the product appears worth the wait.

The Buzzfeed News app follows in the footsteps of NYT Now by curating content from a variety of sources beyond BuzzFeed’s website, including The New York Times, The Associated Press and Reuters. The idea, Chestnut says, is to create an inclusive news hub that’s useful to readers rather than an app that’s stingy with outbound links.

BuzzFeed unapologetically targeted the app at younger readers.

We know a lot about the 25 million people who visit BuzzFeed News each month. More than half of them are on mobile, and they are young (skewing 18 to 34), and very often women.

Our younger audiences often come to BuzzFeed News via our lists and quizzes — come for the cats in tiny hats, stay for the hard-hitting investigations. This is precisely the reverse of what we see with older folks, who say they want news, but often spend more time on the site trying to see if we can guess their age.

So we know young people are into news and that they want to quickly catch up on the news in a way that’s easy, interesting, and accessible.

Here are the bullet points from the BuzzFeed Press Blog:


The BuzzFeed News app will deliver:

* Excellent journalism from our more than 170 BuzzFeed News reporters around the world, selected and created by a team of editors

* The top stories, even if BuzzFeed didn’t write it, and the background and context to those stories

* Our fix to the push notifications problem. You’ll have a robust notifications system, based on your preferences

* A sense of humor

* Native screensho®ts (however you feel about that word…)

* Everything we learned about news apps from building the BuzzFeed News newsletter, which just crossed 30,000 subscribers (Nice one, Millie)

* Intelligent background caching, which means you won’t be stuck with nothing to read on the subway or when you’re without a data connection

* And of course, we support gifs natively (Thanks, Curtis and Paola!)

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