International news service Reuters has set up shop on HubDub, a prediction market on topics ranging from politics to technology. The new partner section of the site will feature standard HubDub surveys, as well as a selection of top Reuters stories and widgets. You can access the Reuters portal here.
Reuters will be providing frequent updates with questions pertaining to the day’s breaking news stories. The site says that while these questions will have the same appeal as its other questions (users can claim bragging rights as they rack up virtual money), it could also have a more significant impact: If the site can grow a large and diverse user base, it could potentially help pollsters and news organizations quickly get a feel for the public’s perception on a given issue. I think that there’s too much inherent bias in this kind of online voting for it to have a legitimate use, but it’s a nice thought.
Such prediction markets are growing in popularity across a number of media sites – by turning users from passive news consumers to active judges, news sites can hope to achieve longer retention rates and more thorough reading (and hopefully click-throughs). In July The Washington Post introduced a very similar current events-related prediction market from Predictify, another startup in this space.