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News.Me Has Arrived on iPad to Challenge Flipboard's Social News Dominance, But It'll Cost You

Illustration for article titled News.Me Has Arrived on iPad to Challenge Flipboards Social News Dominance, But Itll Cost You

The New York Times' News.Me app is here, which allows you to source your news from those you follow on Twitter. If it sounds a little like Flipboard, that's because it's essentially a stripped-down version.

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Instead of launching an iPad-exclusive publication like their publishing arch-nemesis News Corp. did, the Times thinks that improving the packaging of the news already out there is a better idea. an iPad app which allowed users to source their news from those they follow on Twitter. Like an app such as Zite, News.Me will learn which types of stories you like and don't like reading, and will prioritize them accordingly.

Illustration for article titled News.Me Has Arrived on iPad to Challenge Flipboards Social News Dominance, But Itll Cost You
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All in all, News.Me works as advertised. You link your Twitter account and it spits out news stories from people you follow in a singular, vertical feed. But you can also view the News.Me feeds of people you follow on Twitter (provided they use News.Me as well), and see what the people they follow are talking about.

But whereas Flipboard and Zite can also pull in stories and videos from multiple social networks, RSS feeds and aggregators, News.Me only scans through Twitter. Also odd is that there's no dedicated area in the app to list favorite links from any one person you follow on News.Me. Especially considering all the talk of curation and reading what your friends are reading.

If this was free, it would be fine. This is a quick, simple way to see what news the masses are chattering about on Twitter. But it costs a dollar a week (or $35 for a full year subscription), to do something other free apps are just as good at, if not better. But I'm not going to pay the equivalent of an annual magazine subscription (and an expensive one, at that), to read stories that are freely accessible elsewhere.

Illustration for article titled News.Me Has Arrived on iPad to Challenge Flipboards Social News Dominance, But Itll Cost You
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News.Me says they charge a monthly fee in order to properly license and format content from partners. From the looks of it, however, they're not doing anything too special in the formatting department (other than giving it the Instapaper treatment). Additional photo galleries and bonus content don't get pulled into stories.

If considering the app on its own, people's verdict of News.Me will be a matter of preference. The app does what it says it does, but for me personally, it's a bit too limited in scope to be paying $35 a year for. [iTunes]

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DISCUSSION

This is an utterly stupid idea. It's going to go into my own social networking feed (and the feeds of other users), and I need to pay to access a curated showcase of feeds I already have access to by using other apps?

If this was one time purchase, then I might buy it - but a reoccurring charge?

This is idiotic, and this will fail.

How are they going to compete with publishers like the Daily that charge roughly the same amount for actual original content that you can't get anywhere else?