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Yahoo’s new Newsroom social app is ‘Reddit for the masses,’ exec says

Yahoo is getting social, and its vehicle? A new news-centric app called Yahoo Newsroom.

The new core mobile app from Yahoo hopes to make it “easier to discover content relevant to you, and to participate in conversations around issues you are passionate about.” The redesigned app, which looks a whole lot like Flipboard, appears to take its cue from other social media sites that want to keep both consumption and conversation of content native — not only can you check out all the latest headlines across politics, sports, and fashion, you can give you two cents on the latest developments, all from a single app.

“Connecting with others who share your passion for social issues, favorite sports teams, celebrity gossip or having a healthy debate about politics is often a fragmented experience,” Yahoo wrote in its Tumblr announcement. “Most people switch between passively discovering news from their friends and reading hard-hitting news without any interaction.” But the Newsroom app hopes to up the ante on engagement, and empower “hundreds of millions of global users to participate in and help shape the conversation.” 

Users can customize their newsfeeds (which will, quite literally, be composed of the news) — Yahoo calls its various topics “Vibes,” and as you select different “Vibes” to follow, Yahoo said, “Your newsfeed will adjust to include the stories and conversations that matter most to you.”

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Yahoo hopes that its Newsroom app will spark conversation and more active discourse, rather than just passive consumption. “You can now post articles from around the web — with your reactions — directly into specific “Vibes” to spark a discussion. Yahoo’s personalization technology ensures that people who share your interests will see your posts and be prompted to join the conversation,” the company wrote.

“I see this as Reddit for the masses,” Simon Khalaf, Yahoo’s senior vice president of publishing products, told Mashable.”It’s not cultish, and this is the wedge that we believe Snapchat and Instagram has not focused on. It’s a very strong community feel.”

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