Following the lead of The New York Times with its NYT Now app, BuzzFeed has released a new BuzzFeed News app that provides quick and curated news stories.
Upon opening the app, you’re greeted with a “Quickly Catch Up” section that contains one sentence summaries of the latest breaking news. This section is updated about every hour, though what’s perplexing about this section is that there’s no way to click through to read a more comprehensive report; instead, you’re forced to find more in-depth summaries and a link to the original article by scrolling down the main page.
Once you do scroll down and find a story that’s interesting, BuzzFeed’s editors do a good job of providing important information relating to that story. For instance, accompanying its story on the Charleston church shooting, there’s a “What We Know So Far” section that includes five bullet points that attempt to provide the who, what, where, when and why of the shooting. Clicking through the story, it’s possible to read the site’s full report.
The publication also does a good job of using more than just words and pictures to tell stories. Currently, Tweets, GIFS and GIFs are integrated into the app and, according to VentureBeat, Instagram photos, Youtube videos and audio files from SoundCloud are coming, as well.
However, the best part of the app is that it’s possible to set up extremely granular notifications. Once push notifications are turned on, the app asks the user to indicate their interests. These can general things like sports and tech, or more specific like the FIFA corruption scandal. Unfortunately, while it’s possible to get notifications about U.S. news and politics, there’s no way to get Canadian news without subscribing to a more general world news section. This, despite the fact that BuzzFeed recently opened up an office in Canada and hired some exceptional Canadian journalists.
All in all, it seems like BuzzFeed has a pretty great on their hands.
Download BuzzFeed News from the iTunes App Store. An Android version of the app is forthcoming.