Introducing NowThis News:
Founded on the concepts of "mobile" and "social", NowThis News brings original streaming video content to iOS mobile devices. NowThis News aims to capture the attention of the younger generation of viewers who no longer sit down to watch the nightly news in front of a television set, but routinely check for updates on their iPhones. Many reviewers in the AppStore call it a mix between the nightly news and the Daily Show, and with this tongue-and-cheek tone, NowThis may be the makeover the news needs.
Overview of NowThis News:
The founders of NowThis News are former Huffington Post executives Ken Lerer and Eric Hippeau, but unlike the Huffington Post, NowThis News is first and foremost a mobile application. In addition to the mobile app, there is a dedicated NowThis News channel on Buzzfeed, the streaming viral video site. NowThis News does have its own website with a blog layout featuring the most recent posts situated at the top of the page. The simple layout of the NowThis page highlights the video content itself, and makes it easy to share videos with links to social media sites. The NowThis website uses adaptive streaming for smooth, buffer-free playback, and features a "Play Again" link after each video finishes. In addition, you can follow NowThis on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
NowThis currently employs 25 people and produces all of its own content. Each NowThis video is appropriately branded and usually includes a funny introduction by a NowThis anchor. It seems that NowThis averages around five new videos per day, but plans to release 10 to 15 new pieces each day in the near future. Topics run the gamut of bipartisan politics, entertainment, current events, general interest, and humor.
The NowThis News iOS App:
You can download the NowThis News App for free from iTunes or the AppStore on your mobile device. Beware when opening the program for the first time if you're in a public place - upon launch there's a short but audible NowThis tune. The user interface is pretty simple, featuring a list of content starting with the most recent, and a topics bar along the bottom of the screen that scrolls right and left. Topics include politics, seasonal features such as "Turkey Daze", viral, entertainment, technology, and "don't miss".
There were some minor set-backs when streaming content using the NowThis app on the iPhone, such as audio with no video playback or frozen video. Other than these minor technical difficulties, the app provides a pleasant viewing experience. After watching one video, sharing buttons automatically appear and disappear after several seconds, followed by the next video in the queue. This makes it easy to watch all of the new NowThis content in one visit to the app, which mimics news-on-the-hour programming. You can also pause, play and share videos while they are playing, and hit the "done" button if you don't want to watch a video any longer. A bar along the bottom of the screen provides a playback time ticker, and skip ahead button. All of these features add up to a pleasant and intuitive streaming video experience.
Whether or not you like NowThis will depend on if you like the delivery of the content. With a distinctive reporting tone, plenty of laughs, and several engaging hosts, NowThis News is worth checking out.