Its 8 in the morning. While Mom’s in kitchen, Dad’s busy with newspaper and I’m half asleep on the sofa, I take out my mobile. Newspapers are Dad’s territory till about 9 and I’m someone who’d prefer Twitter any day over it. As I go through my timeline, 90% of the info I find, I don’t need, 5% is about people saying why they’re awesome and the rest 5% useful stuff gets gobbled up by the initial 95%.
And that’s where Frrole steps in.
Self defined and publicly loved as the Social Newspaper, it really lives upto its name. It accesses tweets from millions of accounts and then organizes them based on their location, relevance and lastly into categories - Sports, Business, Technology, etc. Just like a normal newspaper would.
According to them 95% of the news is algorithm controlled, 5% community controlled and 5% editor controlled. And since they claim to block out the 90% of noise, I was really looking forward to using it.
How does Frrole work?
After installing the Android App on my mobile, the home page looks as below.
The first factor for an app is always its UI. And Frrole scores well in that. I have personally been a big fan of White and Light Grey combination. As you can see, the header menu bar is well distinguished from the body by giving it a Dark Grey shade. Soothing to the eye.
The various news headlines are listed out, each with a direct social share. It’s good to see that in this list itself they do mention the source of the news. I see that as a big plus point. If it’s a source I almost always refer to, like DNA or IBNlive, there is much more probability of me going on to read that piece of news.
Frrole gives you the option of selecting news based on country and city. As of now 6 countries are listed and over 50 cities. From India, you have Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, New Delhi and Pune. ( No Kochi!! ). The accuracy of news from each region has to be appreciated. For example, when I selected Bangalore all the news shown to me were right about based on the region. I repeat, the accuracy did leave me mouth-gaping!
Other than the options of selecting the city/country/categories there aren’t any options. Not that they need it. But maybe simple options for customization, like being able to change theme colour could be added.
Another option, though not very important but I would prefer to see on the mobile app would be the number of Retweets received for the news. Since the same is shown on their website news feed, it wouldn’t hurt to show the same in the mobile feed too. I for one, if do see a news that has been retweeted a lot, even if is not of much interest to me, would surely take a look.
Second case where the app differs from its website counterpart is the ability to flag tweet and user. If they have included the option in the website, they might as well include it in the app too. Needn’t do it in the news feed and give it a cluttered feel. Might just include it in the options menu.
How effective is Frrole?
I’d say its awesome. As I mentioned before, am very much impressed by the accuracy of its data collection and filtering. There’s no Timbuktu News if my region is India. And even their filtering based on different categories - Business, Technology, etc. is done pretty well.
And this awesomeness is exactly the main challenge for Frrole. They’d have to make sure they maintain their accuracy. Else their regular users (include me to the list too), would be real disappointed in the future.
The problem Frrole has provided a solution to is not something to be underestimated - time saving integrated with valuable info at fingertips. Every moment of our being online, we are bombarded with all kinds of nonsense and senseless news (the good ones almost get killed in this mudflow). Being able to bring out the needed info out of this haze of mess is a big solution to a big issue that seems small.
When it takes a whole blog post to appreciate the solution of a single-sentence problem, as is done by Frrole, you know the app has a future.
So, what do you think? Will Frrole Roll-On to higher glory or will it Roll-Off after its initial Time-Of-Fame?