Content consumption over the mobile is going up in the country which has been the largest receiver of smart phone shipments after China and US in Q2, 2013. This consumption pattern has also given rise to a lot of startups that are trying to approach the market in their own unique ways.
“News in Shorts” (NIS) is one such startup founded by three IIT students while being on leave from college. The venture by – Azhar Iqubal, Anunay Arunav of IIT Delhi (Mathematics and Computing), and Deepit Purkayastha of IIT Kharagpur (Computer Science and Engineering) is a mobile-based service launched on 1st April, 2013, that provides summarized news within 60 words (trying to). Isn’t that cool when you just want to get a quick update?
Consuming News on the NIS app
I gave the app a try to find out what it had to offer. Once you have downloaded the Android app from the store, NIS requires a Facebook login for certain features to be activated. However, if you just want to consume news and don’t want to share then you can skip it.
I logged in via my Facebook and the home/ landup screen pulls up top stories as the Home page. The screen grab at your right gives you a hint. The app that works at your flip is quite smooth and you can quickly flip through the Top Stories of the day. One can also change the category and go for the one from the listed categories on the app. These are like All News, Business, Technology, etc.
Sharing News on the NIS app
After reading you can either share on various networks or push the news on Facebook directly. Push notifications are by default activated; so on a tap the story is shared on your Facebook news feed. Besides this if you want to read the entire story later then save it at ‘Read Later’ and later after reading the short news, one can click to read from the source for more detailed information also.
However, the bookmark feature failed to work for me. There is a like button too and I am hoping it is not the Facebook like. My guess is that the app might collect the likes and try to provide content on the interests going further. If that is the case then the app will become more interesting – “Interest Based News in Shorts.”
Design and user experience of the NIS app
The app is smooth and glitch free. Does the required job of curating news from different sources and providing summarized or short news. The flipping of the news is really cool and makes the app quite cool. Besides NIS is quite clean right now and without any goof ups except for the ‘Read Later’ feature.
As an extension I would love to have my profile presence on the app so I can keep a track on the articles I have read and if possible find out what others are reading too. Bringing the social layer could offer an extra angle to the app. I am sure the founders must be thinking on it and much more cool features.
Other players in the market
Today both the Indian and International market is crowded with startups that are providing cool ways of mobile consumption. Direct competitor could be the NewsCo app which we had reviewed recently that promises to provide news in a summarized form. The app uses machine learning algorithms to identify and extract most important part of the news and present news highlights to the user for quick consumption.
Apart from this, there are some interesting news reading apps like Frrole and Feedspot. Frrole is an app that is trying to solve the pain point by curating news from Twitter. Not only does the app curate news depending upon location but it does this based on interests. Feedspot is trying to be a social reader that takes our news reading experience one step ahead with the integration of social features.
What sets NIS apart is the ability to summaries the entire news and trying to deliver it in sixty words. Do give it a try and let us know what you like and what could be the improvements for the app.