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Surprising Science

New Harvard-Based Startup Aggregates News Headlines on Your Smartphone

BriefMe arranges and ranks news headlines in a feed on your smartphone. CEO Max Campion calls the new app “100 percent created for millennials.” Will young people buy in?

It’s not hard to believe that a whopping 71% of adults under 30 get their news online, particularly from Facebook and online media. But that’s problematic, says The Boston Globe’s Mike Ross, because of how much social media “news” is actually paid advertising. But since scanning news items in a feed and biting after clickbait is so much easier than picking up The Times of India, Ross expresses doubts that millennials will improve their methods of gathering information.

That’s where BriefMe comes in. Ross describes the Harvard-based startup as “a news aggregator” that employs an easy-to-use app to amass a ranked feed of headlines from around the world. Max Campion, BriefMe’s CEO, tells Ross that the app is “100% created for millennials.”

Apparently, the scars of losing Facebook to Palo Alto still show in Cambridge. There’s a push at the Harvard Innovation Lab, which houses BriefMe, to produce the next big social media giant and keep it local. While BriefMe’s headline leaderboard may never be Facebook, the folks at Harvard would probably settle for the next Reddit or Digg.

Ross seems fairly exciting, even if he’s got doubts about young people buying in. Here’s his take on what fascinates him most about BriefMe:

“Perhaps the most interesting feature, and one that does not seem to exist elsewhere, is something that will appeal to all ages. The ‘feed’ compiles every new article among all sources as it’s released. So, for example, when a mega-event occurs somewhere in the world, updates from hundreds of sources unfold in real-time, in one location.”

And here’s BriefMe’s official preview video:

Read more at the Boston Globe

BriefMe official site

Photo credit: Pinkyone / Shutterstock


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