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Little and Kerr launch user-driven subscription news app


Former RTÉ journalist Mark Little. Photo: Tom Burke
Former RTÉ journalist Mark Little. Photo: Tom Burke
Aine Kerr

A DUBLIN-BASED online news service called Kinzen has been launched by Mark Little and Áine Kerr.

Mr Little is a former RTE news journalist, founder of Storyful and Twitter Ireland boss. Ms Kerr is a former Irish Independent journalist and Facebook executive.

The duo are joined by Paul Watson, who worked with them at Storyful. The new service, which aims to develop as a subscription news app, wants to sift out “junk” and promote high-grade news and information from around the web.

It plans to do this through the service’s users, around whom the system is based. Users will share and discuss ‘quality’ news links in what amounts to a top-down, ‘curated’ organisation: users’ motivation for doing this might be borne of a sense of expertise or community.

The service, which was previously called Neva Labs, will be structured in a way to allow for a personalised news feed, based on a user’s preferences and what others are interested in.

“Just over a year ago, we created NevaLabs with the goal of empowering people who want to take control of their news experience,” said a company statement.

“We soon realised that we were not just building another news app. We were building a news community with a radically different approach than the social platforms that have come to dominate our experience of news.”

The website, kinzen.com, will be free for the first few months. Early next year, the app will be launched on a subscription basis: €5 per month is a likely fee level, said the founders.

While they are emphasising a clampdown on false news and dishonest sourcing, they say that they will not police the tone or content shared from across the political spectrum.

With no ads, it is being styled as an antidote to social network news delivery which, the founders say, is based on grabbing and holding a person’s attention for as long as possible, regardless of content.

Irish Independent


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