We often find ourselves in a position where we need to explain to others what is Feedpresso and how it is different from other products available on the market.
We hope that this post will help to clarify that.
What are we?
In Feedpresso you get recommendations for news stories in any language from any source.
This means that to each of our readers, we recommend news stories that they are most likely to like, while letting them to choose their news sources. The any language and any source traits are really important to us as these are usually the biggest obstacles users of other news readers are facing.
We follow these design goals while developing Feedpresso:
- It should be simple to use
- Readers should get relevant content
- It should be available in local languages
These goals lead us to features like:
- Automatic personalisation -- Feedpresso learns from your reading habits 'behind the scenes'. As a result, it provides relevant content while being simple to use.
- A default set of sources and topics for new users in their local language -- we don't want new users to go through set-up just to start reading something (simple and local).
- Aggregated sources -- as relevant content might be scattered all around the web, we want to give our users the tool to find it all in one place.
- Custom sources -- we let users add their own sources of choice, so they would get relevant content easier and would get content from the sources that matter to them faster.
- De-duplication -- helps to find relevant content easier by not showing items that you have already read, as different sources might post the same story.
How are we different?
There are lots of various products on the market that enable you to consume news.
However, there are a few main categories of readers, and we don't really fit in any of them.
Publisher-specific (i.e. brand) readers
These are apps created by a publisher (e.g. BBC or CNN), that include the publishers' own content and send you a constant flux of "breaking news". Some personalisation might be available (e.g. favourite categories).
Obviously, Feedpresso allows you to get content from multiple sites, supports very smart and automatic personalisation.
Local news readers
A category of apps that expose content from one particular site or a few pre-selected sites. They usually have names like "UK news reader" or "Slovak news" and simply aggregate articles from different sites in one place.
These apps usually lack personalisation features: they don't support selecting particular topics or sources to follow, and if they do, it is limited to a hard-coded list.
Theses readers are mainly focused on the topics that you can follow. Popular apps such as Prismatic, Flipboard, Zite and probably lots of others fall into this category.
The problem with this approach is that if you subscribe to a topic like "startups", you will start receiving news from lots of different sites that cover subject in very different levels. So while you might be an expert entrepreneur, you would still receive articles like "Top 5 tips for startups" which is most likely not interesting to you at all.
A better approach here is to pick a specific source that you would like to follow. And that's the route we chose with Feedpresso.
Furthermore, they support usually only English language so you would have a hard time getting content in your local language.
There are lot of RSS readers on the market. A few really great products (e.g. Feedly) and lots of mediocre ones. In most cases, they are simple and straightforward to use. RSS readers let you add any source you would like to read, given that you have an RSS URL available. They are usually great at following specific blogs.
The problem with most of them is that you have to manually tune them until you start getting any content at all. Or worse yet, you can quickly end up in the position where most of your feed is overloaded with content from one specific source (try following blog posts while being subscribed to the BBC).
Obviously, categories help to mitigate this, but it's not something that makes application easy to use.
Feedpresso here provides a number of advantages:
- It provides a default list of content for new readers in their local language, while allowing you to change it.
- Even if there is a mixed content source (topics like criminal activity, foreign affairs, and entertainment), it figures out what you like to read about and will put that content first.
- Tiny blogs will not be swallowed in content from major publishers.
These readers usually show content that is shared on social networks like Twitter or Facebook. A few examples of such readers are Facebook itself, Nuzzel or Briefme.
The biggest problem with this approach is that you have to depend on other people to receive a certain piece of story and you must hope that they like the same content as you. If your co-worker shares a story about entertainment, it doesn't mean that you are going to like it. If a football cup gets really trendy between your friends (or globally) you are still going to see those news stories whether you are into football or not.
And what if you like tennis, but none of your friends do? You are not likely to see any news about that.
Also, they suffer from the same problem as topic readers - content in your local language is not available.
We think that Feedpresso has found a unique place in this market: start with a simple and great experience, but do not limit the user and learn from them.