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Can U.S. journalism truly serve global audiences? Not if it treats them like an afterthought
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June 23, 2017, 11:25 a.m.
LINK: thenextweb.com  ➚   |   Posted by: Christine Schmidt   |   June 23, 2017

The Yahoo News Digest, a modern relic of the ancient time of finite news (a.k.a. a newspaper), is being sent to the app graveyard.

The brainchild of a British teenager who sold it to Yahoo for $30 million in 2013, the Yahoo News Digest app found favor from users for its simplicity and strict curation. Twice per day, the app would present users with a streamlined list of eight global stories collected by algorithms and humans, and when you finished, you were finished. At its launch, The Verge called it “one of the best-looking, and most quietly provocative, newsreading apps we have seen in some time.”

“We’re not saying these are things you’re going to be interested in,” Nick D’Aloisio, who started building the app’s predecessor Summly when he was 15, told The Verge in 2014. “We’re saying, these are the things you need to know about.”

Yahoo, now under the Verizon umbrella after a $4.8 billion acquisition deal, encouraged users to switch to its Newsroom app (“Simply explore a list of topic-based discussions, which we call vibes…”) as a replacement, though many decried it as another endless scroll of information. From Abhimanyu Ghoshal at The Next Web:

I’m just a couple of minutes into testing it, and I hate it already — the front page has news about Kim Kardashian complaining about her recent pictures being Photoshopped, and I can’t find a way to hide that story or unsubscribe from that topic, even after signing in….Worst of all, Newsroom attempts to present an unending stream of stories in the hopes that I’ll spend more time in the app, when all I want to do is learn about what’s going in the world in a finite amount of time and move on to other activities.

According to Business Insider, News Digest’s demise was one of the first cuts made by Verizon at Yahoo. But across the industry, news apps are in luck: the 2017 Reuters Digital News report revealed that usage of news apps appears to be on the rise (thanks in part to the increase of push notifications).

Companies like the Economist have seen the value in finish-able news products. These Yahoo News Digest loyalists hope there’s a future for finite news.

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