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App Spotlight Interview: News Republic

App Spotlight Interview: News Republic

Posted in Mobile App Spotlight on April 11, 2016

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Recently we had an opportunity to speak with Thierry Vazzoler, the CTO at News Republic about News Republic

Please share with us the backstory of what motivated you to create this app.

We took a look around the world and saw that divisions in society were getting worse. That decisions were often confounding and counterproductive to collective progress. We realized that better information would lead to better choices. We also believed that informed citizens would mean more empowered citizens. Those who read better know better. They do better. That is why we set out to create a news platform that would deliver the widest, sharpest and most personally relevant news on the planet.

How is your app different than the rest of the market? Which unique need does it fill?

Today, most people suffer from information overload and connectivity has begun to risk actual connection. We address that by offering custom news flows with unmatched relevance and discoverability. Our mantra: "Don't let what's important go unseen.

Here is how we differ:

  1. We were born mobile and so are optimized for it.
  2. We have the widest geographic footprint: Available for free all over the world, in 37 languages and with 40 distinct country editions to choose from.
  3. We offer the widest and most trusted news content selection: More than 1,650 licensed publishing partners. We do not scrape content from the web. We only offer content from validated content partners.
  4. We are topic based – over one million topics that can be uniquely customized for a user's preferences. 60 percent of our readers regularly update the personalization of their topic selections.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of the creation of this app?

There are a many rewarding aspects to creating and evolving News Republic:
  1. That users love the app: We are one of the highest rated, and most richly awarded news apps. But what makes us proudest is the high user engagement within the app: nearly 2 Billion news views and an average of 3 hours spent in the app every month.
  2. That leading media organizations support the app: We have partnerships with over 1650 leading media organizations from around the world.
  3. That OEMs love the app: We have strong partnerships with leading manufacturers like HTC, Samsung, Huawei, Acer etc.
  4. That Google and Apple love the app: News Republic is a “Google Editor's Choice" and been frequently featured as a noteworthy app by Apple around the world
  5. That industry organizations love the app: We were awarded “Best Mobile Media Publishing App" by the Mobile World Congress; We have won Gold from Best Mobile Apps; We have won several other industry awards including Tabbies and Lovies and “Best App" honors etc. in several countries around the world.

What is the coolest or most innovative feature of your app?

TagNav: Our proprietary Tag Cloud enables readers to see at a glance how topics are related to each other. This happens in real time and evolves with the news of the day

What surprised you most in your journey to create this app?

That news consumption patterns are global; and that our app works well in every single country we have launched.

What features do you hope to roll out to your app in the future?

We have just released a major release (V6) that includes an important social layer to ramp relevance and discoverability in custom news flows. This adds community intelligence to the editorial and artificial intelligence we already deploy within the app. As we gather feedback from our readers, we will continue to evolve and improve.

Which other mobile apps or technology have inspired you?

We started a long time ago: our first version was working on Android 1.5. This is all about self-inspiration for us - the drive to provide a constantly improving service to our readers.

How did you decide which platforms to release your app on and do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms?

News Republic is available on Android and iOS smartphones, tablets and wearables. This decision was based on: user base (market share of OS), monetization potential (advertising), opportunity (OEM partners who ask for the service and preload the app), and first mover advantage (smartwatches, etc).

We are always looking for new platform opportunities: we are currently exploring news delivery in Virtual Reality platforms, for instance.

Do you have any recommendations or advice for others wanting to create a mobile app?

Think global. On the technical side: don't re-invent the wheel. On the server hosting side, consider using Cloud solutions.

You can view News Republic here

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