News360 Updates Android App, Looks to Take Tech Beyond News to Other Verticals

News360, a social news reader that BetaKit last covered when it launched its publisher program as a potential monetization strategy, announced today that it is releasing an overhauled version of its Android mobile app. The app will take advantage of all the personalization technology the company has used for its iOS and Android tablet apps, aiming to serve the most relevant content for each individual reader regardless of which device they’re using.

“We have been on Android for a while, but we’re just now launching the latest iteration of News360 which launched on iPad in July, then we had a release for iPhones and Android tablets, now finally Android phones. We spent a lot of time reworking the Android app from scratch to include all the new personalization features,” said CEO Roman Karachinsky in an interview with BetaKit. “So this is the first version of Android that will use ‘learn as you use it’ and will be able to keep track of your reading activity, analyze all your social activity on Facebook and Twitter, and give you a single feed that is super accurate in predicting what you’re interested in reading.”

News360 uses artificial intelligence technology to analyze a reader’s behavior, both in-app and on popular social networks, in order to deliver personalized content. Karachinsky noted that the company spent a lot of time taking into account the latest best practices when it comes to Android mobile apps for this redesign, adding expandable push notifications and the capacity to add the app to a user’s lock screen.

The company’s long-term vision extends beyond aggregating content for its readers, and instead they plan to leverage the proprietary interest graph that maps a user’s relationships to more than a million variables to bring personalization to other verticals. Down the road, News360 wants to use the same technology in ecommerce, social, and travel to bring their personalization technology to other realms of its readers’ lives, which might play out to be the most effective monetization strategy for the company.

When asked how it plans on continuing to differentiate itself from other social news readers like Flipboard, Pulse, and Trapit, among a handful of others, Karachinsky said the company’s long-term vision, coupled with its team and technology, is what what it’s banking on.

“I believe the things we’re doing with personalization are much more advanced that anything anyone else is doing,” Karachinsky added. “We’re trying to create an ecosystem that basically on any device you have, any screen size, any scenario you have, we can do a good job of recommending interesting content to you. We actually try to use your context as another factor in the recommendations.”

The device being used to access News360 is now also used as means of understanding which stories and headlines will most appeal to readers, so that on a mobile device users may get served more breaking news and headlines and shorter reads versus when they’re at home with their iPad. Another thing Karachinsky said might be on the table to discuss with third-party developers is opening up its API and allowing them access to the data it is building up in regards to its user’s interest graph to build additional personalized services. With an updated Android app and plans to use news as a springboard into other facets of personalized services, News360’s approach could give it the necessary edge to build a more profitable business model that other news readers. No word on how the company’s publisher program is going though, so the success of that will likely dictate how they could monetize a move into other verticals.

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan

Humayun Khan is a Senior Writer and Analyst at BetaKit. A marketing graduate with honors, Humayun's work experience spans the fields of consumer behaviour with noted contributions in an academic paper published in the Journal of Consumer Psychology and market research consulting having coordinated projects for a major financial services client at Decode Inc. More recently he was involved in business strategy as a Business Analyst for an equipment rental outlet and prior in the National Marketing Department at Ernst & Young LLP. He is passionate about emerging and disrupting technology and its ability to transform and create entirely new industries.

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