This week we’re rolling out an exciting update to one of our most popular apps. From now on our news aggregation service, Socialife, will be known as News Suite. But it’s not just a name change, we spoke to Business Planning Manager, Taiki Hori about the update and how the changes will benefit you, the user!
Can you describe News Suite in 140 characters?
With News Suite, you can read all the latest news as well as customise your favourite topics to create your own personal News App
What’s changed in the update from Socialife to News Suite?
Ultimately, we’ve simplified the concept. With News Suite, you can read all the latest news by “category” making it easy to stay on top of current events.
On top of the basic need for News, we have improved the user interface so that you can easily switch between the latest news and your own favourite topics.
To maintain focus on the news itself, we’ve removed the Twitter and YouTube feeds. We’re keeping the best of Socialife and making it simple to add and delete specific topics or areas of interest.
How will these changes affect people’s experience of the app?
First of all, the app lets people tap between “News” and “My Feed” so they can alternate between what’s going on in the world and what’s going on in their world.
What’s also great is the fact that you can add and delete topics really simply. For example, lets say you’re interested in what’s going on at MWC. Just add “MWC” to your topics. Once MWC is done, just delete the topic and add a new topic in. It could be anything from TV shows or sports to favorite music or events.
Why do you think news aggregator apps like News Suite are so useful for people?
Many consumers read news for different purposes. Some read to enhance their own knowledge, some read to connect with people, and some for their business purposes.
In any case, customers prefer to gain knowledge from multiple sources so that they can keep their knowledge broad. News aggregation Apps make this knowledge much more accessible.
Of course, this can all be done on the web, but News Suite put the news within a simple touch – the latest stories can be categorized with a friendly interface that makes it easier for you to access the content you want.
One of the challenges with social media networks and citizen journalism is that people can end up being overwhelmed with news – how does News Suite help users access only the stories they want?
As mentioned previously, apps can help solve this issue by providing a smooth experience, with smart and simple categorisation. News Suite does this and more…
News Suite is an app that you can actually “Add” and “Delete” topics or interest. Let’s say you just heard about a new Xperia model coming soon and wanted to read more about the news. You can enter “Xperia” through “My Keyword Search” and you can read about the latest “Xperia” news whenever it comes out. You can do this for an event, music artist, a movie, a political event or incidence; anything.
What makes News Suite different to other similar apps?
News Suite allows you to create your own personal news app. While it keeps you up to date with current events like any other app in the market. It also allows you to connect with friends, colleagues and enhance your knowledge.
The personalisation element is our big differentiator – you might be a big fan of sci-fi movies. Just add whatever movie you love and you can follow all the news linked to that movie. You may be a big fan of an artist that does not show up on the big news every day. Just add their name and you can read all about it.
The ability to add and delete topics means that you can change your topics as often as your interests change.
Are the changes enough for the time being or do you have any more updates planned?
There is always space to improve. Since this is an app, we want to listen to users and make the changes that matter most – whether it be frustrations with the user experience, responsiveness or requests for new features.
With that in mind, why not give News Suite a whirl. Let us know your thoughts on the updates and anything else you’d like to see in the comments below.