“World’s best news service,” eh? Now that is a lofty goal. But it’s one that the team at Inside is shooting toward.
Inside.com, an app and website that presents 1,000 of the day’s most important stories in 300 characters or less (written by the site’s curation team), launched earlier this week to mostly positive reviews among tech and media bloggers. The founder and CEO of Inside, Jason Calacanis, set out to create a news reader that would summarize in quick spurts the highest quality news, on any topic, because he’s tired of wasting time on click-bait articles and unsubstantial reporting online.
Calacanis and his team set forth the following guidelines in developing Inside, which they’re calling “sort of like Pandora for news.”
1. It would be mobile — specifically for smartphones
2. It would be real-time
3. It would be fact-filled
4. It would connect folks to the world’s best journalism
5. It would respect the reader’s time
In the same vein as several other news aggregators, Inside wants you to be able to consume your news with some element of personalization. The “My Feed” feature should ideally contain only the news you find interesting after giving a thumbs up or down for customization purposes. Another feed shows you an exhaustive list of the news gathered by Inside in real-time, and the /topnews feed displays the curating team’s take on the day’s “top” 25 stories.
One unique aspect of Inside is the capability to “swipe the deck,” to use their terminology. Instead of clicking back buttons, you can simply use a finger to slide stories that fit under the umbrella of rich topics (/superbowl, /stateoftheunion, etc.), and you’ll see the previous update on that specific topic. Cool, huh? Or, as Nieman Lab’s Staci Kramer put it in her official review of Inside, it’s “slick.”
The biggest bummer about Inside right now is that there isn’t a search function, so when navigating it, you find yourself scrolling incessantly to find what tickles your fancy.
Also, I didn’t particularly like that some stories on Inside contained some uncommon abbreviations in order to fit the 300-character parameter. Perhaps this is an acquired taste.
Inside is still working through some bugs (to be fair, it has only been one week), and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of improvements will be made.
You can download the free iOS app here or check out Inside.com on your mobile Web browser. Sorry, Android folks, your app is coming soon.