Social media
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Previously a news reader app, Prismatic this week re-launched as a "content-centric" social network offering an "interest-first" feed of content and comment for users.

The app, available only on iOS devices, lets users select topics and other users to follow, as well as share content and comment to the platform themselves.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk, Gillian BenAry, community manager at Prismatic, explained that the system is set up to recognise what content users "respond to" most, meaning they will then "see more of that".

Users can follow broad subjects, such as technology or social media, or more focused areas, from individual companies to current news events. The platform will also propose new topics, and rank content based on "what you interact with", said Prismatic founder Bradford Cross, as well as the interactions of your community on the platform and information from "other networks".

Prismatic screenshots
Screenshots of the main feed and explore page provided by Prismatic

For journalists it could prove a useful tool when it comes to tracking specific subjects, or even localities, carrying out research on existing coverage and understanding how users are engaging with content.

For journalists


BenAry said that Prismatic could be a valuable tool for journalists "to follow beats and interests". Given the variety of topic pages, this means journalists can effectively create a relevant supply of content and comment around particular subjects, or even specific stories. Local journalists, for example, can choose to follow subjects based on geographical areas, and Cross said that "local will be a huge focus for us next year".

Topic areas are also created around "current events". According to Cross, this means media outlets can be monitoring "real-time topic feeds", delivering the latest content in a focused and personalised way.

The ranking in particular, he added, helps "take care of all the rubbish".

It could also be useful for research purposes, in particular helping flag up less mainstream media coverage of a subject, BenAry said.

Commenting on the new launch, journalist Mathew Ingram, a senior writer at GigaOm, said the platform "has become a replacement for my RSS reader, which I wasn’t using much anyway", adding that compared to building subject-based Twitter lists, "in many ways Prismatic makes it a lot easier to find relevant content".

For publishers

The platform works by "crawling the internet, Twitter and Facebook and getting everything that looks interesting", Cross explained. This content is then delivered via a "special browser so all content appears in the same format", he added, "rendering the content in a nice way".

Currently Prismatic is not working directly with publishers in terms of establishing specific "deals", but Cross indicated this could be on the roadmap in the future when they start trying out "revenue experiments".

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