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“This app is the closest thing to a perfect magazine.”

January 9th, 2013 No Comments

This quote is in reference to Zite: probably the smartest mobile app newsreader on the market.   Do you have it on one of your devices?  You should!  It’s free.

See that little owl icon on my Playa del Carmen beach home screen?  Doesn’t it just look like it’s saying, “Hello. There’s news here.  Read me!”  I love it!

Zite for First Time Users

When you open the app for the first time, you’ll choose what areas of interest you have and then you only see that news. It’s like if you were to open the newspaper and not have to throw out any of the sections.  With 40,000 topics, you’ll also have your niche interests included in your stream (see part of my list above). The app goes a step further and aggregates content only from credible sources so you don’t have to deal with a bunch of junk.  Wait!  There’s more:  the more you thumbs-up or thumbs-down an article, the smarter the app gets to filter in only content from sources you like.

The New Zite

Over the holiday, CEO Mark Johnson (@philosophygeek) and his team released the 2.0 version that features a more sleek design and even smarter technology.  Here’s a list of what they’ve done from their website:

  • Zite now knows about 40,000 different topics –New topics allow you to drill even deeper into your interests and give Zite even more feedback about what you like and don’t like.
  • Facebook integration – now you can link Zite to your Facebook account to get topic suggestions based on your Facebook history.
  • Your Top Stories gives you more of what you love – we’ve expanded the number of articles in Your Top Stories and also brought in more articles from the topics you like.
  • Thumb articles up or down from a section –pull an article up to give it a thumbs-up or down to give it a thumbs-down.
  • The Explore Page – when you need inspiration check out Zite’s new explore page. Or, use the search function to dive into our catalog of over 40,000 topics.
  • Topic Tags on articles – many articles have suggested categories, which will help you to explore something that’s hot in the news, remind yourself of a topic you love, or introduce you to a new interest.
  • Headline news module (iPad only) – thanks to the technology we developed for CNN Trends, users can now browse the most important headline news directly from Your Top Stories.
  • Popular on Zite module (iPad only) – Zite users are pretty smart, so it’s interesting to see the stories that are most popular among them.

Zite on Your Desktop: CNN Trends

Pasting these new features reminds me that CNN, that bought Zite over a year ago, has integrated Zite technology  onto their platform.  The page is called CNN Trends.  There you can see the 10 most popular news topics with a CNN article written about it AND nine of the other most read articles online.  So, CNN is now featuring articles from Wall Street Journal, Fox News (can you believe it), BBC, Financial Times, USA Today, and thousands more.  It doesn’t matter who published the article, if it’s in the top 9 most read, it will be featured on CNN Trends page next to the appropriate topic. Just like Zite, it’s a one stop shop for headline news on your desktop or laptop.

The technology of it all blows my mind.  But knowing Mark personally, it would be hard for me to believe that anything is impossible online.  He’s just one of those brilliant people who keeps pushing the boundaries farther.  Can’t wait to see what he comes up with next!

 

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