Prismatic is trying to build a personalised newspaper for the masses, and today they’re getting closer to reaching that vision by launching their iPhone app.
It’s very smart, and the presentation is gorgeous.
The website, and now the app, allows users to effortlessly discover stories based on interests. Once you connect your Twitter or Facebook account, the service starts learning about your interests and presents stories based on topics it thinks you will like.
Prismatic continues to learn about your interests the more you use it, suggesting different topics you might like to add to your feed. While you can actively hide stories you don’t like and add new interests, it also intelligent curates your feed through machine learning. Through different actions you perform like sharing a story or skipping it, Prismatic learns more about what articles to present to you.
Though the startup first launched as a website, the founders actually designed the service as mobile first. By stripping away unnecessary buttons and interactions, the app is pure news and discovery. It’s an engaging experience that encourages content exploration.
It’s fast. Very fast. Users have high expectations of app speed on connected devices, as Facebook has found and finally rebuilt their freakishly slow app.
CEO and Founder Bradford Cross:
It’s got to be fast, so we had to bite the bullet and do a few things that took a couple of months to build. You know, with the phone you’re sitting in line, you’ve got three minutes, that makes your fuse for bull**** almost zero — you see a ‘loading’ image and if it crosses some time threshold, you immediately close the app and go somewhere else. That kind of ADD world is the reality for the phone.
There doesn’t seem to be a clear business model, however. Introducing ads into the feed will damage the clean user experience that is a big differentiator for Prismatic. It remains to be seen how they will make money.