Last September, YourVersion took the stage at TechCrunch50 as the DemoPit People’s Choice winner, after receiving the most votes from conference attendees. The startup’s goal is fairly simple: to help you find content that you’re interested in, in real time. And now it’s bringing its application to the iPhone. You can download the free app here.
The app is pretty straightforward. First, you enter some topics that you’re interested in. Every time you launch the app, you’ll be presented with a list of these topics. Clicking on one will bring you to a list of recent blog posts, tweets, and other content that contains those topic keywords. You can also filter through this content by source, allowing you to see only content from Twitter, news sites, and so on. If you’ve already set up an account on the YourVersion website, you can sync that with the app (any items you bookmark or share from the app will be reflected on the site as well).
Of course, there are plenty of other applications out there that let you search for news stories by keyword. YourVersion tries to go a step further than basic keyword matching by adding some intelligence to its story recommendations. In the current version, the app will track all of its users’ attention data, which includes the stories they’ve click on, shared, given thumbs up/down to, and a handful of other metrics. YourVersion then uses this data to generate a weekly Email digest, which includes the week’s top stories from each of your YourVersion topics (it will omit any stories that you’ve already read).
This is only the first step, though. In the next month or so, the site plans to roll out a feature to both its website and the iPhone application that will use this attention data to enhance the “Discover page” (the section of the app that presents you with recent stories), so that you don’t have to wait til the end of the week to get smarter recommendations.
YourVersion still has a lot of work to do — in its current form, there isn’t much to differentiate it from the countless feed readers and news apps already out there. The app needs to implement more robust algorithms that can provide story recommendations that are both more timely and accurate than its competitors’.