April 21, 2011
Will people pay for rehashed articles from the Internet? We are about to find out, as News.me has just launched as an iPad app. Unlike other news-generating apps, this one is said to have the approval of many of the biggest names in publishing. Created by Bit.ly, the News.me service will cost $.99 per week, or $34.99 for a one-year subscription. With that, users will receive content from publishers “who have licensed News.me to reformat their content for the iPad,” according to a FAQ on the recently launched News.me website. In other words, content that is available elsewhere for free. Publishers include: The New York Times, AP, Forbes, AOL, Gawker Media, Business Insider, Gigom, Mashable and VentureBeat. News.me first gained notoriety in February, when TechCrunch gave the world an exclusive look at the service. Its basic premise, according to All Things Digital is this:
We’ll have more to say about News.me once we look at it more thoroughly. In the meantime, you may download News.me yourself in the App Store. What do you think? Leave your comments below.
- News.me will cost $0.99 a week, or $34.99 a year. It will be available as an iPad app, using Apple’s subscription service, or as an e-mail newsletter.
- News.me will provide users with curated Twitter streams that highlight “the most popular or interesting news stories” that appear in their own Twitter feeds, and from the feeds of other Twitter users they select. The notion is that users can “read over the shoulder” of people they find interesting.
- Bit.ly does the curating, using the data it culls as it shortens billions of shared links on the Web. Since News.me relies on Bit.ly data, it has a natural bias toward publishers that use the service.
- News.me lets users read those stories in a “streamlined reading view,” which will be familiar to anyone who has used apps like Instapaper: easy-to-read black text on a white background–without the ads users see when they read the same stuff on a publisher’s Web page.
- News.me will share some of its revenue with publishers who license their content to the service. But publishers who don’t have News.me deals but do appear on the Web will still see their stuff show up on the service. It just won’t look as nice, and they won’t get paid. And they won’t get the chance to run “additional promotion for publisher products that might be of special interest to News.me users (such as iPad applications).”