Twitter Style Feed Turns Breaking News Into Quick Reads

Twitter Style Feed Turns Breaking News Into Quick Reads

Circa gives users the top headlines on their mobile devices in CliffsNotes-like format.

Sara Boboltz
  • 7 october 2013

News aggregator app Circa wants to share with you all the day’s top stories in bite-sized pieces, covering the world’s most important events with the least amount of words. But it’s not ‘summary,’ CEO Matt Galligan is quick to point out:

We want to make news easy to consume, like Cliff Notes. We don’t summarize. We take stories and break them into core elements — facts, statistics, videos and images — and add context to certain points.

Rather than spending minutes catching up on the news, the app aims to bring users up-to-date in seconds. Circa employs just 10 writers who work in shifts to break out the day’s stories into core sentences, like bullet points, which are accompanied by photos, maps, or video to provide further information. One article is broken out into a series of these so-called ‘stubs,’ which a user flips through like pages in a book. If a user decides to ‘follow’ a story on the app, any subsequent updates that develop will arrive on their own, saving time by eliminating the need to re-read anything.


This past Thursday, Circa released version 2.0 of its app for iOS, along with a version for Android. Circa positions itself as a better alternative to Twitter for news junkies (and hopes to poach some Twitter users), with much less non-relevant content than the social network and all the speed of a newswire service. Galligan says the app reported Cleveland kidnapper Ariel Castro’s death before even CNN and Fox News via Cleveland’s NBC affiliate.

On the app’s process, Galligan says his writers “identify the core facts across multiple sources, and write them up,” essentially live-blogging the news. Whenever information is found in only in one source, as happened initially with the Castro story, it is called out in the ‘stub.’ Galligan would like for Circa to be seen as an unbiased source of pure information.

We keep tone and opinion out of it. The readers have a right to be informed, not influenced.

The app plans to offer original reporting in the near future. So far, however, a plan for monetization has not been disclosed.


Images by Circa.


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