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Yahoo Launches Social News App Outside of Facebook Platform

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Now that the news about a new social layer on the web and Facebook’s sense of direction is out, news apps are coming out of the woodwork. Yahoo, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post are just a few of the American media companies jumping on the social sharing bandwagon in an effort to drive media consumption. In Europe, 33 media companies are partnering with Facebook to launch apps, including SoundCloud, The Guardian, and The Independent.

Yahoo and The Independent are approaching this new era in media sharing in a slightly different way than Guardian, for example. While some companies are putting their apps in Facebook, Yahoo and The Independent have chosen to put them on their own sites. One of the benefits in this strategy is that Yahoo will keep readers on their own site and keep their ad revenue.

Rather than having their content embedded in the Facebook platform, Yahoo exports Facebook data to their own platform. Users opted in to the app will see the profile pictures of Facebook and Yahoo contacts displayed across the top of every page they visit on the Yahoo News site; hovering over the user produces a list of their recently read content. On the article page, users can see which of their friends have also read the article.

A video accompanying the social reading app announcement features pretty, shiny people sharing their “real-life stories” about how this app will change the way they read, discover, and share content. Says one actor person, “If it’s seen through a friend’s lens or eye and you get their perspective, then all of a sudden it makes you… it makes it relevant to you.”

The Guardian went the other way, using their app to display content within the Facebook platform. Potential problems are already cropping up: one simple editing trick allows you to make it look like your friends are reading about STDs or whatever embarrassing topic you choose rather than what they’ve actually read.

Once you add this new breed of social sharing apps, you always have the option to remove posts, but everything you read, watch, or listen to will automatically post to Facebook.

Have you tried any of the social news apps? Leave comments about your experience below!


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