There have been a flurry of new apps and services released recently that are aimed at giving users short hits on breaking news, from Jason Calacanis’s Inside app to Yahoo’s new Tech News app, which is based on its acquisition of algorithm-driven startup Summly. Circa, a mobile-news startup we’ve written about a number of times, often gets lumped in with this growing group of services because the updates it sends on news stories tend to be short — but co-founder and CEO Matt Galligan says what Circa is up to is actually quite different.
While most of the services mentioned give users brief news items that they can consume quickly while standing in line at the bank or in the back of a cab, Galligan says Circa’s approach differs in one major way: since it allows users to “follow” a specific story, and get updates only about new developments on that story, it essentially is building a long-form news story over time — just in bite-size chunks.
Why would I put a show on a big heavy rectangle in your house when I can put it in your pocket?
AllThingsD gives us an idea of Circa’s success: according to Flurry, users stay 50 percent longer in Circa than in other news apps. Of users who open the app more than once a day, more than half return twice daily for their breaking news. Galligan even mentioned in an interview with Jason Calicanis that there are users who, between Monday and Friday of a given week, had opened the app more than 100 times. That’s a whopping 20 times per day.
When someone reveals that government officials have routinely and deliberately broken the law, that person should not face life in prison at the hands of the same government.
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