Hands-on: News.me iPad app for social news reading

Hands-on: News.me iPad app
Hands-on: News.me iPad app

We’ve heard about the News.me iPad app before but it has finally gone live in the App Store. This social news reading app is trying to make it easier to view what your friends are interested in but is it good enough to pay for?

As you can see from the video below, the News.me iPad app does look good and signing up is as easy as entering your Twitter log-in information. From there, you get all the news stories that your friends are tweeting out and you can even choose from high-profile suggested users.

It’s similar to Flipboard because it aggregates your social news but you do get more granularity over which of your friends you get your news from. It also uses algorithms to determine what’s a popular story that’s being shared. I do like the sharing options, as you can tweet out stories, share them on Facebook, e-mail articles or save to Instapaper.

The interesting thing about the News.me iPad app is that it comes from the New York Times company and it has a different business model from other social news readers. It’s in the middle of a free 7-day trial but you’ll have to pay 99 cents per week or $34.99 per year to access it. This money then goes to the publishers which have stories read via the program.

The News.me iPad app isn’t actually very expensive but it still costs more than being free and that’s tough to compete against. Along with the aforementioned Flipboard, Taptu lets you get news from your social networks for free.

I’m still not sold on this program for the long-term because of the cost factor but, as a publisher, I do admire that it’s trying to provide compensation for content creators. The problem is that the vast majority of the stories being shared would be free in Flipboard, Taptu or even in Safari, so I don’t see why I need to pay for it in the News.me UI.

You can get the app here (iTunes link).

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