WHAT IS IT?
News in Shorts, despite its name is not a news app. Yes, you read that right. It is a content discovery app, its actually a very clever 9GAG for news.
WHY IS IT KILLING IT?
Few words, “Attention Span” “Seek” “Something New” “Instant Gratification”.
As elegantly described in this article in PsychologyToday, just like food, sex and drugs, our minds have learnt to perceive information as another object to seek for gratification and ask for more dopamine from our brains.
And there begins our quest to seek information that is easily consumable for a discovery/knowledge high.
People used to watch a cricket match that spanned for many days and still be motivated and attentive enough to cheer for action moments. They were ready for extended periods of dull non-happening time, to catch that one sixer.
One Day Matches
Soon, the crowd grew more appreciative of a format of their favourite sport, consumable within a day. With just 50 overs, they could spare a day, get as intensely involved and have closure by the end of the day and go back to their daily lives. This pushed the sports men to take risks which made the game more exciting.
A new form was adopted to make the most of the waning attention span of even die hard cricket fans. Now, they were ever more stingy with their mental bandwidth and seemed to only appreciate, a few hours of their religious sport. And boy were the players living and dying like fireflies, all in a few hours. Heroes rose and legends fell, people were entertained, dopamine was rampant.
Cracked, YouTube et al
People used to open up a well cracked article or small documentary/indie shortfilm during lunches and commutes.
Wow! Such joke, but Much Words…
YouTube now mostly stands for cat videos, trailers and tutorials on how to un-super-glue your accidentally super-glued privates.
So what is taking over these kingdoms of time-pass? 9GAG.COM, 4CHAN, Vine and 9GAG.TV.
9GAG and Vine like sites offer instant content discovery gratification, which leads to pockets of dopamine high. And it is addictive as hell. And don’t even get me started on “Netflix and Chill…”.
Long Form Journalism
NYTimes has always been an excellently informative news icon. Hard hitting, exceptionally well written, most of its featurettes are masterpieces of reporting. But, even they started seeing on-page time decrease exponentially. If information consumption ways were drugs, this was freshly baked, uncut top grade heroin.
People became spoilt by choice, they wanted uncompromisingly more. They wanted designer drugs.
Feedly, Flipboard, Pulse and similar news readers started listing summarized/gisted articles, whose long-forms still remains and you get a God mode walk-around and choose the news article, worthy of the next 3 minutes of your attention.
Following a similar trend to 9GAG, instant complete discovery of news content, unlike Feedly or Flipboard like teasers, News in Shorts began to materialize a version of the daily news, cherry picked and morphed into the format optimized to reward your brain and still keep you informed.
They started out as a Facebook Group, then became a startup with mobile apps and raised USD 25 Million in three rounds of funding. They have now rebranded to ‘inshorts‘, so as to attack content beyond just news.
WHY ARE WE CLONING IT?
News in Shorts really impressed us as a concept and we’d like it to be our very first product. It is, we believe the perfect vehicle to test our honourware pricing strategy as well. It is a simple enough idea, given life by a high quality product, that when used opportunistically, can become a fundable startup within weeks
You can see a demo here:
WHAT CAN I DO WITH IT?
You can either start a News in Shorts like news content discovery service in your local language or apply it to a niche, for example, you can read and summarise the top 30 links on News and Show pages at hackernews and become the go-to app for any startup or technology enthusiast in the world
Everyone I know in the tech industry wants to know of all the posts in HackerNews’ top content that day, but can’t seem to find the time and this can perfectly summarise it and let them explore more on what they find most relevant.
If you are a fashionista and follow all the big news portals in your field, create a News in Shorts like app for your specialization so that all your industry folks can just refer to your summaries and only go to the respective news site to learn more about a particular article. Think of the personal expert branding you will create for yourself…
Your only limitation is your imagination. Live long and prosper!
“Inshorts” and “NewsinShorts” are trademarks of ADA News In Shorts Private Limited.