News junkies get a new way to mainline headlines
The developers behind Lumi, a news curation service and new mobile app, want to change how you discover news. Instead of asking you to pick topics from a long list, like Apple News or Flipboard, Lumi uses magic background algorithms to offer you news stories that actually match your news reading habits.
The service uses Twitter and Facebook to discover your browsing preferences and then presents you with news stories, one at a time, asking you to swipe left (no) or right (yes) like a dating app to help refine what it sends to you. It’s like Tinder for news hounds.
Lumi, the service, has been around since 2013 or so, but the mobile app refines the approach, adds some new useful features and brings it to your pocket computer. Felix Miller and Martin Stiksel created Last.fm, one of our favorite music tracking services from the ’00s, and hope to do for news consumption the same thing they did for social music curation.
In addition to choosing stories for you to read based on your likes, location, and social media behavior, Lumi News lets you read any story you like offline, like a self-contained Pocket or Instapaper.
Better yet, you can follow your friends via Lumi and see what they’re reading and liking — you can even tell them which stories you liked with a swipe. It’s very social.
Lumi looks promising, and should give Apple News and apps like Flipboard some real competition. The proof, of course, will be in the algorithm, and how much Lumi allows you to discover things you didn’t know you wanted to read. Like-based curation has the potential for just becoming another echo chamber, letting you keep your blinders on when it comes to differing viewpoints.