Media Magazine

Quartz’s Phone App: the News as Conversation

Posted on the 19 February 2016 by Themarioblog @garciainteract
This is the weekend edition of TheMarioBlog and will be upgraded as needed. The next blog post is Monday, February 22
Quartz’s phone app: the news as conversationQuartz’s phone app: the news as conversation Quartz’s phone app: the news as conversationQuartz’s phone app: the news as conversation
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Here is what Quartz has to say about its new product:

We put aside existing notions about news apps and imagined what our journalism would be if it lived natively on your iPhone. It wouldn’t be a facsimile of our website. It would be something entirely different, with original writing, new features, and a fresh interface.

When it comes to turning the news cycle into the reality of how we consume information---especially news---Quartz has delivered a product that  is like a real ongoing conversation , with the progressive development that our regular texting chats have.  I remember, as a young reporter writing business features for The Miami News, I would start my story, but take a lunch break, and return to it.  Chunks of the story would build upon each other and then I would file that story for tomorrow's edition of the newspaper.

If I were that reporter today, and writing for the Quartz iPhone app, those chunks of the story would go out to the readers, and that is exactly what differentiates Quartz' new product from everything else that is there. Quartz' team have taken a close look at how we consume all that other information that has nothing to do with news, but much to do with our daily conversations, and adapted that to how news flows.

The messaging includes photos, GIFs and links. Each session lasts just a few minutes, so it’s perfect for those of us who engage in the journalism of interruptions and everywhereness.

And the prompting Anything Else? appears at the bottom of the screen.  Sometimes the surprise message is : You're caught up! Check back later!

We will, for sure.

The fast tempo

The Quartz iPhone App in no way replaces our thirst for in depth news and long narratives---the lean back tempo.  What it does, however, is to provide an innovative twist on how we consume news in that other important lean forward tempo.

This is a great step forward as we experiment with different storytelling formats.  Will Quartz' experiment give messaging the news a sense of legitimacy? Will publishers and editors globally take notice and wonder about the potential, especially at the local level?  

It will also be interesting to find out about the effect of news messaging and social media.  A lot of copy and paste, I imagine.

Also, many will be wondering how advertisers will take to the Quartz iPhone app.

Of related interest

Tap to get the app here:

​For more on the topic:

TheMarioBlog post # 2103
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