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Breaking News for Mobile Advertising Agencies Circa 1605

Mobile adver­tis­ing agen­cies may be inter­est­ed in a brand new “break­ing news” iPhone app.

Circa1605, crafti­ly named after the year the world saw its first news­pa­per, has devel­oped an app specif­i­cal­ly designed for smart­phone users who like to keep abreast of the news with­out all the fluff.

Atoms of news

CEO Matt Gal­li­gan believes the news options cur­rent­ly avail­able for smart­phone users are plen­ti­ful but not par­tic­u­lar­ly good.  With the Cir­ca app, he explains, news con­tent “gets a dif­fer­ent design, so that it fits on the screen and the fonts look appro­pri­ate, but the con­tent itself hasn’t changed.
The time that you con­sume with this device is dra­mat­i­cal­ly dif­fer­ent.”

In an approach that has drawn com­par­isons with some mobile phones adver­tis­ing cam­paigns, lengthy report­ed arti­cles are sup­plant­ed by short, punchy bits of infor­ma­tion about head­lin­ing events across the world.  The “bits” (or “atom­ic units of news” in Circa’s lan­guage) are aggre­gat­ed and forged into coher­ent­ly short sto­ries by the company’s 12 writ­ers based in the U.S., the U.K. and Chi­na.

Gal­li­gan likens each “atom­ic unit” to a flash­card – but a con­tin­u­al­ly updat­ed one that brings devel­op­ing news on a spe­cif­ic top­ic at the tap of a but­ton. The tech­nol­o­gy is designed for smart­phone users who have lit­tle time to sit and pon­der while they’re “on the go” but would like to check the news dur­ing “gap time”, like wait­ing for a sub­way train or stand­ing in the queue at the sand­wich bar.

Orig­i­nal con­tent from oth­er jour­nal­ists’ news atoms

Cir­ca also mon­i­tors how far into the sto­ries mobile users reach and plans to devel­op this into a fea­ture capa­ble of rec­om­mend­ing new reports based on users’ pre­vi­ous­ly not­ed inter­ests and pref­er­ences. All of Circa’s con­tent will be orig­i­nal, even if it bor­rows a com­po­si­tion style cur­rent­ly used by jour­nal­ists adding updat­ed “Tweets” to ear­li­er sto­ries.

Gal­li­gan is clear that, for the time being, he’s not aim­ing to offer the deep­er analy­ses avail­able in peri­od­i­cals like The Econ­o­mist and The New York­er. Online media out­lets will also con­tin­ue with tra­di­tion­al report­ing nar­ra­tives because they make mon­ey from serv­ing dig­i­tal ads to a mass audi­ence. It’s still some­thing of a close­ly guard­ed secret at this stage, how­ev­er, how Cir­ca plans to make mon­ey from its flash­cards and sto­ry streams.

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