Nuzzel Releases An iPhone News App With Simple Setup And Personalized Alerts

For those of us who have been following social news startup Nuzzel, there’s been a long wait for the startup today’s iPhone launch.

I first spoke about Nuzzel with founder Jonathan Abrams (who also founded Friendster) back in September 2012. Since then, Nuzzel has been a browser-and-email product, although Abrams told me recently that the iPhone app was “95 percent done.” Now I guess they’ve finished that final 5 percent.

Given how many mobile apps are available for aggregating news, it’s probably worth reiterating what makes Nuzzle a little different. Instead of requiring a complex setup process, or touting sophisticated technology that attempts to understand your interests, Nuzzel just asks users to log in with Twitter and/or Facebook. Once they do, it a feed of the stories that were most shared among their friends over the past 24 hours (or a shorter period of time if they choose).

It sounds almost ridiculously simple, but in my experience, at least, Nuzzel almost always succeeded in surfacing stories that were interesting to me. The downside was that I’d often read the top stories already, (plus I’m starting to worry I might be following too many people in media and tech), but if you do want to explore beyond the news shared by your immediate friends, you can also look at “friends of friends” and at individual users’ news feeds.

To a large extent, the iPhone app just packages the Nuzzel approach in an app, where it fits quite comfortably. One new feature is the ability to send personalized news alerts as push notifications. Basically, if you want to stay on top of big, breaking news, the app can alert you when a lot of your friends are sharing a single story. When I installed Nuzzel this morning, the app was set to alert me whenever news stories were shared by at least 25 friends, with a maximum of five alert per day, but you can change that manually.

Now that it’s on the iPhone, I expect I’ll be using Nuzzel quite a bit more, and I’ll definitely be keeping an eye on those alerts. (I’ll probably be set my threshold a bit lower, too.) However, I also do a lot of my reading on my iPad, so I guess I still have something to bug Abrams about …

Anyway, you can download the app here.