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App Spotlight: News Republic

App Spotlight: News Republic

Posted in Mobile App Spotlight on July 28, 2015

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We had a chance to speak to Shafi Saxena, the Chief Brand Officer at News Republic about News Republic

Could you share a challenging factor of the development or marketing process?

In the app world, supply far outstrips demand. Breaking through the clutter is getting harder, more expensive. Even app store features and stellar ratings (which we are fortunate to have) are delivering less impact than before. Once a reader finds us, s/he tends to stick with us. But helping readers find us is a constant challenge in a hyper crowded market.

Do you plan on releasing your app to other platforms as well?

We are already available on iOS, Android, Windows ... on phones, tablets and wearables.

If you could describe your app in ONE word, what would it be and why?

"Engaging" ... it puts at your fingertips information from over 1000 global flagship news sources in a news flow that's tailored to your needs and interests. It learns as you read to continually improve your news experience. And, it suggests related stories so you can continually widen your perspective instead of reinforcing an echo chamber.

Were there any unexpected surprises post-release of your app?

Higher than anticipated usage time per reader. In the age of twitter and FB posts, we feared readers would just skim the headlines instead of reading the articles. We were wrong. 7 Billion articles have been read on the app - readers spend not seconds but several minutes on the app, often more than once a day.

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

We hope to incorporate more social features to that we can continue to spark more conversations about issues that matter. Information is power. We want to arm our readers for global citizenship.

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

TagNav: think of it as a "perspective-widener" or a GPS for the news. It helps you see in an instant how the world is talking about a particular subject. It always surprises people how wide ranging (and different) perspectives can be.

What is your favorite mobile app to date and which have inspired you?

It is impossible to pick just one. There are so many wonderful mobile apps out there and we discover new ones every day. In terms of inspiration, (at the risk of sounding horribly pedantic), we have been inspired by philosophers and their ideas on good governance and citizenship, not by other apps.

What was your main objective or motivation for creating your mobile app?

To spark conversations about things that matter the most. By providing information with purpose for engaged citizenship.

You can view News Republic here