Apple News, a brand new Flipboard-like app set to debut when iOS 9 launches this fall, will be run by a team of professional journalists who are currently being hired by Apple, The Financial Times learned Tuesday.
It’s part of a broader push by the company to personalize the content it delivers to users of its devices, according to a recent job ad seeking successful candidates that would “identify and deliver the best in breaking national, global and local news”.
More importantly, the move indicates Apple is more interested in doing curated distribution for the News service than rely on algorithms like Google News does.
Apple wants candidates with more than five years of newsroom experience who are able to “recognize original, compelling stories unlikely to be identified by algorithms.”
These editors will work with publishers to “drive relationships with some of the world’s leading newsrooms, ensuring that important breaking news stories are surfaced quickly, and enterprise journalism is rewarded with high visibility.”
Human editors will be also keeping tabs on the latest on social media to “recognize and communicate key content trends to senior management” and surface original content from “the largest to the smallest” publishers.
“One publisher that has had negotiations with Apple over the news service said the hiring of journalists was ‘jaw-dropping’ and ‘a real surprise’”, the publication wrote.
Apple News features a Flipboard-like aesthetics with fluid presentation of media-rich articles. After picking your favorite news sources and topics, the app presents you with interactive stories that you can bookmark for later.
The articles can come from any RSS feed, but the best ones are built in the News format, with several launch parters on board, including Conde Nast publications, ESPN, The New York Times and many others.
News, which will replace Apple’s Newsstand and compete with Facebook’s new Instant Articles service, also keeps track of more than a million topics, and gets smarter every time you read it. Publishers will get to keep ad revenue generated by selling advertising around these stories.
Or, they could choose to have Apple sell the ads, in which case Apple will keep a 30 percent cut of any revenues.