The Personalized News Trend: Picking and Choosing Your News
Personalized news. A trend that we’ve talked about in class a few times in a few different forms throughout the semester. The personalized news trend is one that has been around since the early stages of the Internet, with sites like MSN or Yahoo allowing their users to choose what topics they wanted to see more of and what topics they didn’t want to see, and it’s grown ever since.
The personalized news trend has picked up steam considerably as the Internet has become an integral part in the everyday lives of millions around the world. More websites offer personalized content, sometimes behind the scenes through algorithmic curation or recommendations, while others allow you to literally pick and choose what stays and what goes, like ESPN, which allows you to select your favorite teams and players, or Google News, which allows you to select what topics you want to see and even from what news sources you want to see them from.
This trend has found footing thanks to the increased popularity of the Internet and smart devices, which allow users to simply download apps like Flipboard or News360 to construct a perfect, comfortable news experience that they truly want to read or watch every day.
The personalized news trend is having an impact on news, with it becoming feasible for niche writers or content creators to gain traction through apps or personalized news platforms and gain a following. The stories, topics and categories are becoming more important than the name at the top of the newspaper. No longer are readers or viewers taking time out of their day to dedicate to an entire news cast or flipping through a whole newspaper. With social media and apps like the ones mentioned above, it is much easier and more convenient for people to set up their personalized news sources, and see exactly what interests them instead of digging through hundreds of news stories to find what’s interesting.
This trend is definitely going to intensify in the future and it’s becoming so prevalent that journalism figures around the business have taken notice. Like Tanya Cordrey, the former digital officer of Guardian News & Media who’s predicted that personalization will continue to grow in 2016. Craig Saila, the Director of Digital Products at The Globe and Mail has similar thoughts on the future of personalization in journalism, going on to say that “No longer will there be a singular front page,” instead each reader will see their own individual, personalized page.
I think the trend will certainly continue as time goes on and as people find less time to sit down and dedicate themselves to large appetites of news. Now, and more in the future, people will use short periods of free time throughout the day to simply glance at their smartphone app and get the news that has been personally catered for them specifically.