Like Tinder for news, Lumi uses swipes to learn what you want to read

lumi news is like tinder meets flipboard and we love it personalized app 0001
Despite the millions of dollars that companies such as Facebook, Twitter, Google, and Flipboard have invested in news aggregation technology in recent years, finding stories you actually want to read can be a serious chore.

Startup Lumi hopes to change all of that with its free iOS and Android app, Lumi News. Without needing to enter in any personal data, the app learns about your personal tastes with a Tinder-like interface. You simply swipe your finger right to like a story or left to skip it. It also asks for access to your social media feeds, so it can make deductions based on your personal history of interests and likes.

Rather than headlines and a paragraph of multiple stories to read, the app gives you the entire story – one at a time.

The data-driven app starts with local news based on your smartphone’s location and what other people in your area are reading. It spans outward quickly based on the data it’s collecting from your own social media feeds and your individual swipes. In a matter of minutes, the stories suggested by the app correlate with your personal interests.

Rather than giving you headlines and a paragraph of multiple stories to read, the app gives you the entire story – one at a time. Martin Stiksel, co-founder of Lumi, told Digital Trends an early version of the app did take the multiple headlines route, but it quickly became evident that it simply created more clutter.

Much like trying to make sense out of your non-stop Twitter feed with information overload, the entire goal of Lumi News (the name is a play on shedding light on news) is to simplify everything to the point that your Mom can sit down and instantly start reading.

“The tech space has been looking for a better discovery and navigation device,” Felix Miller, co-founder of Lumi told Digital Trends. “Once you install Lumi News it figures out ‘by magic’ what you want and it gives you content you’re interested in.”

Data science cuts down on the noise

Lumi has that magic down to a science, literally. Three of the London-based company’s 10 employees are data scientists. And Lumi’s co-founders were among the founders of music curation company, Last.fm, which CBS purchased for $289 million back in 2007.

Miller said the app uses crowd sourcing by collecting data from all of its users’ Twitter feeds and looks at 200 million articles every day. The Top 100,000 articles are curated on a daily basis. The app looks at over 40,000 different outlets, ranging from the big online publishers to niche blogs. Gated or walled news outlets such as Variety or The Wall Street Journal aren’t available through the app, since it connects directly to the source. That way, Lumi gives media companies the all-important traffic.

Once a story enters the app, it continues to live there as long as readers keep liking it. The app also allows readers to submit their favorite stories, which means Digital Trends content can trend within this ecosystem if you and your friends make a few swipes to the right. (And we shamelessly hope you do!)

The company has been beta testing its data-driven technology with 120,000 Android users for the last year, and the results are pretty impressive. The app currently has over 50,000 monthly unique and they’re spending an average of six minutes per session reading, while coming back twice a day.

“People get addicted to it,” Stiksel said. “It’s like a channel you can always tune into. There’s a story that’s always waiting for you to read based on your personal interests.”

A growing user base

Half of all people who installed the app, which includes those who didn’t even open it, end up using it in the first month. But by the second month of use, that usage number rises to 70 percent thanks in part to push notifications the app sends you twice a day with recommended articles. This option can be turned off for those who just want to read at their own time and pace.

“We discovered that 20 percent of our user base comes back every day, often several times a day,” Miller said.

Stiksel said that a survey that’s currently running with beta users found that Lumi News is changing the way people search because content is coming directly to them.

Lumi_app_screens_perspective

“People are using Flipboard and Google News less,” Stiksel said. “The only thing we can’t compete against is Facebook. We can’t compete with baby pictures and cute puppies.”

Even before the debut of Lumi News today on Apple devices and the official launch on Google Play, Lumi already had at least one user in every country around the globe. Stiksel said it only takes 30 users in a market to “claim” that area. This allows the app to feed relevant local info to users out of the gate. With more users downloading the app, Miller said the data science will kick into high gear.

At the end of the day, Lumi’s secret sauce could be the company’s approach.

“A lot of companies are trying to do a lot of things,” Miller said. “We’re trying to do one thing really well.”

We tried Lumi News early, and it is a very seamless experience. It learns quickly, and iIt’s a great way for fans of specific hobbies, whether it’s model railroads or video games, to instantly find a never-ending stream of recommended stories on their favorite topics. Those swipes to the left also are a godsend, as they can immediately erase topics, or even people (like Donald Trump) that you’re just not interested in reading about.

If you want to try Lumi News, you can download it on the Google Play Store and the iOS App Store now.

Download for iOS

Download for Android

Mobile

Microsoft patent filing shows wearable that mitigates involuntary movements

A patent application from Microsoft has shown the company is looking into using wearable technology to alleviate symptoms from various diseases and disorders that cause involuntary movements.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

Walk, run, and stretch with these handy iPhone fitness apps

Working out and getting yourself in shape isn't easy, but it's easier with the right set of apps. These best iPhone fitness apps will help you to track your calories, monitor your sleep, and achieve your fitness goals.
Outdoors

Best holiday gifts for the outdoor junkie on your list

Have an outdoorsy person on your list and not sure what they need? We've hand-picked our favorite outdoor gear with an eye towards the unique and useful. From high-powered headlamps to heated socks, we've found something for everyone on…
Mobile

Need to record calls on an iPhone? Check out our handy guide

Are you wondering how to record calls on your iPhone? It isn't as easy as you might think, but we'll walk you through the process of doing so with Google Voice, and identify several other apps and external voice recorders that can help.
Mobile

AT&T makes 5G a reality for a dozen U.S. cities, with more to come in 2019

Ready to experience a radical transformation in mobile communication? AT&T is launching mobile 5G in cities across the country over the next few months. Here's everything you need to know about the AT&T 5G rollout.
Mobile

Which smartphone manufacturers won and lost in 2018

As the curtain comes down on 2018, we take a look at the big successes and failures in the smartphone market over the last 12 months. Which phone maker had the best year, and who had a year to forget?
Mobile

5G’s arrival is transforming tech. Here’s everything you need to know to keep up

It has been years in the making, but 5G is finally becoming a reality. While 5G coverage is still extremely limited, expect to see it expand in 2019. Not sure what 5G even is? Here's everything you need to know.
Product Review

With sapphire glass and analog dials, you'd never know this watch is smart

The world of hybrid smartwatches is getting much larger, and the latest comes from a name with history — New York Standard Watches. In our NYSW GTS Activity Tracker review, we find out what makes this watch special, and why we were so…
Mobile

Scientists have charged a phone and a Fitbit with solar-powered clothes

Scientists from Britain's Nottingham Trent University have discovered a way to incorporate solar panels into clothing, and they've even managed to charge a phone and Fitbit with the energy created.
Mobile

The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT packs the most RAM ever seen in a smartphone

The next generation of smartphones has begun, and it's begun with a bang. The Lenovo Z5 Pro GT comes with the next generation Snapdragon 855 processor, 12GB of RAM, and 512GB of storage.
Mobile

The best iPhone XS Max screen protectors to safeguard that huge display

If you love big screens, then the iPhone XS Max's huge 6.5-inch display is perfect for you. But it won't fare well against concrete. Protect your display with the best iPhone XS Max screen protectors.
Mobile

Fitbit supercharges its smartwatches with its new 3.0 operating system

Fitbit announced a new software update for the Versa and Ionic, called Fitbit OS 3.0. The new OS will allow for things like on-device daily views, as well as 10 new third-party apps on the watch.
Mobile

Google’s Gboard communication app reaches 500 languages in only 2 years

In December 2016, Google launched Gboard with support for an already-impressive 100 languages. Since then, however, Google has added a hefty 400 languages to the software keyboard, bringing the total number to 500.