Betaworks-Backed Puts a More Social Spin on News Medium

The ever-increasing use of social media to share stories can sometimes overwhelm users, but a New York-based startup has created a platform to curb such information overload., wholly funded by investor and business accelerator Betaworks, and born from a prototype created at The New York Times, curates news articles to help readers focus on and discuss relevant content. is available via daily e-mails, and in March the startup released a mobile app version for Apple iPhone and iPad users. The platform gathers news stories posted in each user’s respective Twitter and Facebook feeds, combing through the rampant, sometimes irrelevant personal updates., which is free to download and use, lets users engage in conversations about the stories within their personal social spheres using quick, preset responses or their own comments.

Jake Levine, general manager for, says there can be a disconnect between the discovery of news on the Web and conversations on social networks. A reader who comments on a story directly on a news website, for example, may get lost in the tide of remarks from others. Levine says news lends itself to social interaction, such as wanting to be informed and deciding on which candidates to vote for. “Twitter and Facebook are places where discovery is social,” he says. lets users join discussions through their social networks, keeping the chatter centered among their friends interested in the topics.

Mediums such as Twitter, however, can lead to a glut of chatter as users receive suggestions to follow more and more people. With the population of social feeds growing, occasionally such connections need to be trimmed down. “You have to … Next Page »

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