Credit: By Yutaka Tsutano on Flickr. Some rights reserved.

Social media editor for news agency Reuters, Anthony De Rosa, is to join mobile news app Circa as its new editor-in-chief.

De Rosa will join Circa, which presents the key parts of new stories via an iPhone app, in "mid-June", according to a press release. On Twitter he added that he will be working from New York. Speaking to Journalism.co.uk via email, De Rosa said there is "a huge opportunity at Circa to reinvent the article, specifically on mobile platforms".

"Nobody is focused on this in the realm of news quite like Circa. I think the way we report, even on the web, is broken and I think with this team we can potentially fix it. We're still building websites and mobile applications with print in mind first and Circa wants to change that."

With his experience as social media editor at Reuters, one area De Rosa hopes to help Circa is "with its network effect".

"More people need to know about Circa and it needs to be where they go when news happens. I intend on applying my social media background to help them with this in addition to my primary role as editor-in-chief."

I think the way we report, even on the web, is broken and I think with this team we can potentially fix itAnthony De Rosa
Director of news at Circa, David Cohn, added that "bringing Anthony on board means a lot".

"On the editorial front I am very confident he will bring a lot to the table and that he can learn from the way we've been doing things so far and, more importantly, we can learn from him."

He added that De Rosa "is known in part for breaking news and being a 'go-to' resource on Twitter".

"One of Circa's goals pushing forward and something that I think Anthony will help us with is becoming a go-to resource for breaking news.

"Not only will we have the ability to be fast/accurate, but with the follow feature we will have the ability to keep readers 'in the know' with the latest developments in ongoing stories."

Circa, which launched in October 2012, describes itself as "the best way to read the news on your phone". The app, currently available on iPhone, with a new version in development and plans to launch an Android app later this year, presents news stories and events in "atomic units", as Cohn explained to Journalism.co.uk last year.

These units include "facts, quotes, statistics, events and images". Users can also track stories and be notified of new updates.

Reflecting on some of the key lessons Circa has learnt so far, Cohn added that one example has been that this "follow feature does work".

"During the week of the Boston Marathon bombing, pretty much every time we updated that story, everyone that was following it would open the app to get the latest info," he said.

The team has also found that while "time spent in the app is actually rather high", when there is an increase in how much the app is accessed, the time spent each time falls.

"This makes sense because those folks coming back just needed/wanted the newest one or two points. Everything else they've already read/consumed (and we mark it as such).

"So it's an interesting correlation that, in my opinion, really highlights the fact that readers enter into a relationship with Circa stories and watch them evolve over time."

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