NewsWhip, a service that surfaces the latest news based on social signals from Facebook and Twitter, has released an iPhone and iPad app that puts it up against the likes of Flipboard and other social news readers. But the twist is that this looks at all socially shared news, not just news in your own personal social graph.
NewsWhip scans Facebook and Twitter to see which news stories are being Tweeted and Liked in topics such as tech, fashion or business. It then spots the stories getting the most “heat”, and serves them as a live stream. It will show you what’s hot in ten countries, including the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and Ireland. The Dublin-based startup takes social signals from the entire crowd – tweets and Likes – rather than a user’s specific social graph. The technology tracks around 100,000 news stories a day and ranks them based on how many new interactions they’re receiving per hour.
You can filter for the trending news in topics including politics, gossip, tech, fun, music, movies, gaming, startups, health, food, and 12 different sports. A “My Whips” feature remembers the sections you visit most frequently, so you can quickly check for trending news you care about.
Founder Paul Quigley told me: “With the App our challenge was to squeeze that down to palm-size. We wanted to make all these rich streams accessible and comfortable to anyone sitting on the train, eating breakfast, or whiling a few minutes on the toilet. So we put country and topic filters on the left side of the screen, and you can swish them over to select whatever you’d like to check in on.”
Last Summer the startup raised an undisclosed Angel round from Hal Philipp, a partner with Meridian Growth Capital, and Shane Naughton, a founder and former CTO of TaxStream (which was acquired by Thomson Reuters in 2008). Philipp is founder and former CEO of Quantum Research Group (which was acquired by Atmel in 2008).
Alongside NewsWhip’s consumer-facing service, the startup has a professional product called Spike that will eventually be subscription-based and is being trialled with BBC, MSNBC, Buzzfeed, the Huffington Post and others. This shows which stories are trending – or are about to trend – from thousands of sources.