The New York Times
and Washington Post
launched competing news aggregation services this week, late old-media arrivals to a field dominated—in the iOS universe anyway—by pioneers like Flipboard and Zite.
On Thursday, the Times launched News.me, one day after the Post‘s new Trove service. Both offer users news and headlines based on their social media preferences—but in slightly different ways.
Times created in partnership with URL-shortening service Bit.ly—has its eye on the bottom line: Users can subscribe to the service for $1 a week or $35 a year. Although you can sign up online to get a daily e-mail digest of the news, the service is most at home on News.me’s iPad app.
There, News.me plucks selected headlines from your Twitter feed—the Twitter account is required—and displays them in a vertical list of headlines and short summaries. If the news from your Twitter feed is less-than-scintillating, News.me offers a list of “featured users” whose news-heavy feeds might be worth following. (Somewhat amusing: The featured users include Arianna Huffington, who has been sharply criticized by Times editor Bill Keller for her Huffington Post’s aggregation activities.) Overall, the user experience of News.me feels like Flipboard, but without as many customization options or the cool magazine-style user interface.
News.me is a free download—though it comes with the aforementioned subscription costs—and compatible with iPads running iOS 3.2 or later. Trove is also free, and compatible with devices running iOS 3.1.3 or later.