Look Ahead: News App, Kinzen, Puts Control Back into the Consumer’s Hands

Information overload is an issue that news consumers have long faced as they find themselves overwhelmed in the age of television, computers and smartphones. This is an issue that Paul Watson, Mark Little and Áine Kerr have teamed up to tackle. The trio first met when they worked together at Storyful, a social media news agency Little founded.

Their new endeavor is Kinzen, a news app that quickly identifies the topics and sources that are important to each individual news consumer and matches them with the right stories at the right moment. After a trial run last year, the app officially launched this month.

Kinzen users are able to create, in a sense, a personalized news feed. The app offers different “channels” based on social or professional needs or location. The users are also prompted to offer feedback on every article they read, and in this manner, the app identifies what is important to that particular user.

However, there is still the issue of misinformation.

“Kinzen will work with technology partners to exclude proven sources of misinformation from the directory of sources available to users of its app,” said Little. “But in addition to technology partnerships, we believe healthy news communities need human curation. At Kinzen, we will reward curators who add value by discovering, verifying and sharing quality information with Kinzen members.”

Pictured from Kinzen are (from left) Paul Watson, co-founder and CTO (on screen); Shane Creevy, community editor; Mark Little, co-founder and CEO; and Áine Kerr, co-founder and COO.

Little said that the app will not only benefit readers, but will also help publishers because it will allow readers to “curate their own personal news experience within their favorite publisher’s branded environment. As well as offer publisher content within the Kinzen app, we can deliver the Kinzen user experience within a partner’s web and mobile properties.” In other words, this can aid publishers that don’t necessarily have the wide range of content or technical resources to deliver a personalized experience. The team has also been exploring the idea of bundling the app with publishers’ existing subscriptions and testing Kinzen’s potential to generate higher conversion rates for publishers.

But what makes Kinzen stand apart from other apps that say they can successfully aggregate the news?

“At Kinzen, we think about ‘personalization with a purpose,’” Little said. “We can only earn the trust of the user if we listen to their intentions rather than just tracking their instincts.”

Unlike most aggregators, Kinzen focuses on the user’s conscious feedback instead of snooping through their browsing history or featuring stories that are simply trending. With this app, it’s a two way street; the users tell Kinzen how they processed an article, and the app offers productive feedback.

For more information, visit kinzen.com.

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