Video News Bites, Delivered To Your Smartphone

NowThis News, an iOS app created by two former Huffington Post executives, brings the news to mobile users in segments lasting a minute or less.

Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn

What's the Latest Development?

NowThis News is a free iOS app that attempts to capture the average mobile user's attention span by providing a more-or-less steady stream of short video news segments, most of which last under a minute each. The app groups segments into seven categories that cover various national and international happenings, and the shortness of the segments lets the producers experiment with content and delivery. When a segment finishes, the user can share it via Facebook, Twitter, or an e-mail -- or not, which automatically brings up the next one.

What's the Big Idea?

NowThis was created by two former Huffington Post executives who appreciate the challenges involved in keeping easily distracted users watching. Two ways to overcome these challenges are keeping the viewing experience passive -- by just feeding segments without requiring user input, a technique borrowed from Netflix -- and simply putting out well-produced content. The latter will be especially important after the noise surrounding this year's election quiets down if the app wants to be seen as more than a passing fad.

Photo Credit:

Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less