River is a real-time news and content discovery platform, reinventing how people explore their interests and share their opinions. River instantly organizes everything people are talking about online - from trending social posts to major headline news - into a personalized stream of bite-sized, shareable stories. Leveraging proprietary AI-assisted content understanding (what the story is about, the author’s expertise on the topic, how it fits into the broader news cycle landscape) and personalization technology, River is delivering an experience designed to expand user’s perspectives.
Other social media apps and their all-too-familiar exploit algorithms are pushing users to engage with their platforms, whereas River aims to ensure each user is informed and up to date on the credible news that impacts their day. River discerns that ‘most viral’ does not equate to most informative, even if that specific content or topic is trending.
River helps users discover content in two distinct ways. First, upon opening the app, a feed of the day’s top trending stories, relevant articles, tweets, videos and other content is there waiting for a user to explore. River’s search function allows for finding stories on more niche topics in the case a story of interest to a user isn’t displayed in the initial news feed. Second, River acts as a personal recommendation platform for discovering new content of interest in the same way one would in a social media feed. Upon downloading River, users are prompted with a brief series of questions about categories they’d like to learn more about. That initial information is tied to the device that installed River, rather than to any one person and their personal information. River then quickly evolves its content recommendation, further personalizing the experience based on the specific phone’s continued usage of the app - not by any personal identifications.
Furthermore, River’s ranking algorithms and content feed is differentiated from other news aggregators or search engines in the way it reviews each piece of news and determines its overall importance based on who has covered it, their credibility in that category, and many other factors etc. On the contrary, other platforms have a tendency to surface news regardless of credibility, simply because it’s been reshared on Facebook or Twitter several times or someone popular shared the information on their own channels. River also uses objective signals to determine credibility of sources on a per category basis. In doing this, River can identify if a source will be more or less credible within specific categories. For example, Rolling Stone would be less credible for sporting news than ESPN. When using objective signals, River assesses how many times each source is cited within each category and what types of sources are doing the citing.