Really excited about this. A day long in coming, with lots of work from many people. I’m proud to be on this team.
We’re excited to announce a brand new version of our free iOS app and BreakingNews.com site rolling out today that let you decide what’s breaking news to you.
Fueled by mobile phones, the volume of breaking stories has grown immensely. In fact, it seems like just about everything is #breaking these days, factual or otherwise. The more stories are breaking, the less they matter to you.
That’s why we’ve reinvented Breaking News around you. We’ve combined the lightning-fast speed and rumor-free reliability of our editorial team with powerful new features to enable you to control what you want to see. When you open the app or visit the site, you’ll see a real-time feed of everything by default. Then you can personalize on the fly, no registration required:
Alert - Inside the app, tap the alarm bell above an item and you’ll get real-time push notifications whenever news breaks about that specific topic. You can also search for your favorite topics to alert (swipe to the right). For example, here’s what I’ve alerted on my phone:
Seattle - Where I live
football - I love football
media - Media industry news
NBCUniversal - Our parent company
Elon Musk - I’m a fan
Whenever a significant story breaks in any of these topics, I receive a push alert. I glance at the phone and I’m instantly up to date. For now, you can set up to five alert topics at the same time. By default, our editorial team will also send you push alerts for the biggest breaking stories.
Mute - Conversely, if you don’t think something is breaking news, you can hide it. We’ve heard the complaints thousands of times: “That’s not breaking news!” Now you’re in control.
You can mute the obvious annoyances — for me, I muted Miley Cyrus — as well as unwanted stories that are overwhelming your feed. I’ve also muted tragic stories that became emotionally taxing over time as well as to avoid spoilers for big live events that I’m recording on TV (i.e. the PGA Championship).
There is one caveat: if you’ve muted a topic that suddenly becomes a very big story, our editors will alert you anyway. We discovered that users don’t want to miss out when big news breaks.
Whoa! - We’ve never been a fan of a “like” button next to a breaking story, so we’ve created something new. When you’re surprised by a breaking update, tap the “Whoa!” button to register your reaction with other users. You can also choose to share the update seamlessly on social media, email, SMS or read-later services. As you “whoa” updates in real-time, you help power a list of the most surprising stories, photos and videos at the bottom of the feed.
You can also pinpoint breaking alerts on a map (swipe to the left in the app), save topics to keep track of them and receive occasional “editor’s notes” with inside guidance around conflicting or inaccurate social media reports. Stay tuned for an updated Android app with these new personalization features, coming soon.
If you have any questions, take a look at our FAQ page, send us a tweet to @breaking or drop us a note via BreakingNews.com. And if you didn’t watch it already, play our entertaining two-minute launch video starring Arthur Roberts (above).
(Post by @corybe. A huge thanks to our entire team for creating the new Breaking News!)