News aggregators are hot again! These relics of web marketing have moved to mobile, where users find them addictive. Why? Aggregators work because content is everywhere, easily accessible, overwhelming in scope and, alas, filled with a lot of junk.
What people really need is curation; something that saves them the time and effort to find what they want, when they want it, without knowing that they actually wanted it and without sifting through multiple sources to discover it.
A news aggregator is a tool to filter the vastness of Internet content to provide a narrow spectrum of focused content people can consume on their phones. Beyond covering news in a particular niche an aggregator can feature product reviews, user generated content, and more that interests a die-hard fan.
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Small businesses that supply content to mobile news aggregators are virtually guaranteed an audience predisposed to what they have to say. It’s a way to drive traffic to your website and create “buzz” about your brand, your company and your products and services.
Since it usually doesn’t cost you anything but time (and perhaps talent) to create and supply content, the right news aggregator provides a direct pipeline to your target audience.
We’re not talking about general news services, but rather niche aggregators that focus on very narrow interests, such as what your business does. Here are some recent examples.
This app is for wristwatch enthusiasts. The aggregator provides an atomic clock by which to set your watch to the most exact time, as well the correct moon phase if your luxury watch displays this holdover from the Golden Age of chronometers. It also supplies watch reviews, blogs, buying guides and feature articles.
This could be the app to watch. As app creator Kevin Rose (cofounder of news aggregator Digg and Google Ventures partner), points out in TechCrunch, if Watchville is successful, other specialized apps for everything from handbags to comic collections could result.
“The trend in consumer apps of late is building for a mass audience, in hopes of squeezing a little money out of tens or hundreds of millions of people. But while it’s a more fractured and perhaps less sexy route to create something for just a handful of people to geek out on, apps like Watchville could become serious business if each user spends big bucks on their habit,” Rose says.
Published by Uply Media, this news aggregator app targets parents with young children, with articles on kid lifestyles, fashion, books and tips on parenting. Uply has numerous lifestyle apps, as well as a more traditional breaking news app. Like Watchville, Uply Media also has luxury news app, though it contains broader content related to luxury lifestyles, products, services and reviews.
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Hungry for something new for dinner? Meal Idea claims to be only app to find, organize and share the best recipes. The site updates hourly.
The American Press Institute has observed that we're hungry for news and consuming more than ever on topics that interest us. Reports API in a recent survey:
"Roughly half of Americans said they got news in the last week from search engines and online news aggregators (51 percent for each)."
Apps such as Flipboard, Pulse, and Prismatic allow users to customize their own niche topics if no specific news aggregator app exists. Your business needs to be thinking how it can produce more useful and relevant niche content that can be discovered and shared on these news aggregator apps.
Take note: if these apps don’t address your industry, and you can’t Google any that do, well, creating an aggregator app for your business segment may be an opportunity in and of itself.