Apple Inc AAPL’s news aggregator, Apple News, has been around since 2015, although its popularity really skyrocketed in the last few years as the tech giant expanded its features and improved the experience. According to the most recently shared public numbers, Apple News has 125 million monthly active users.
The app follows the steps of its successor, Newsstand, but adds many new functionalities and an improved news selection algorithm. The human component is also important in the news selection process.
But, how does Apple News select what to show you and what not to show you? How does it differ from what others see?
Seeking to better understand this, Benzinga dug into the details of how the app works.
As soon as you open the Apple News app, you get a selection of the day’s “Top Stories,” under the “Today” tab, which also shows trending stories, your favorite topics and more.
This section is curated by an Apple News team of editors who are all experienced journalists. The selection seeks to represent the most significant stories relevant to a national audience.
The Apple News app also offers alerts and notifications for major news. These are based on users’ interests and the media outlets they follow.
Apple News editors send users notifications about major breaking news topics, as well as notifications about new Spotlight collections. Individual outlets can also determine when, and on what topics, to send notifications to their followers.
Why do I see more big, mainstream media than local outlets or emerging news sites?
To populate the Top Stories section, Apple News editors consider many factors. Their analysis includes whether an outlet is the first to report on a topic, the depth of reporting, how local the reporting is, which and how many sources are quoted as well as various other elements.
The Today feed is an ever-changing mix of content made up of editorial curation and algorithmic recommendations based on both channels a user follows and topics they read about.
In addition to the basic app, Apple News offers a subscription service.
Apple News+ is available for $9.99 a month, offering access to hundreds of magazines, newspapers, digital outlets and audio stories. It is available to users in the U.S., UK, Canada, and Australia.
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