Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook all function as social news feeds with your friends / people you follow pushing out status updates and sharing stories they find interesting.
Sharing news stories is one thing, but what about the news about your friends or other people you follow?
Yesterday, TechCrunch bought news of a new site that feeds you news stories about your friends and public figures you care about.
Newslehas been created by Harvard undergrads Axel Hansen and Jonah Varon (two students creating a site to keep in touch with your friends – sound familiar?) and in a nutshell, imports news about your friends and contacts, showing you any news or blog posts that mention them. It does this by importing your contacts from Facebook and LinkedIn.
It also lets you follow famous people (actors, musicians, athletes, politicians, business & tech bods) to get all the news about them.
Once you have selected who you want to follow, you can choose to show news about your friends, public figures or both.
The site looks something like this…
The site emphasizes the public figures, which makes sense because for most people, there wouldn’t be much news about just their friends. Consider how many of your everyday Facebook friends actually blog, write or partake in any online discussion outside of Facebook? From experience, not many.
Newsle constantly suggests more public figures for you to follow, which from first glance is actually quite intuitive, i.e. if you follow players from a certain football team, Newsle will suggest similar players, if you follow DJ’s, Newsle will suggest other DJ’s – you get the idea.
To collate news, the site scans hundreds of news sites and blogs from across the web. It does a pretty good job of picking up news and also lets you filter out the irrelevant by selecting “Important News” versus “All News”. According to TechCrunch, the site also does a good job of filtering news about people of the same name, we’ll take there word for that one.
Newsle doesn’t pick up Tweets or status updates, rather it tries to get rid of the social noise by presenting real news. You can, however, Tweet out news stories from your feed, vote them up or down, and add comments via Disqus.
After a test drive of Newsle (albeit in beta) the site does offer a good user experience – it looks great, it’s intuitive and it’s super easy to navigate.
However, it feels like a site we just don’t need. Like many start-ups of late, it doesn’t offer anything that Google can’t. Want news about your favourite actor? Head to Google, search for said actor and BOOM! There’s your news – no login required. And with better filtering options.
Want news about friends – we are living in an era of self promotion, there’s enough news being pushed on us without the need to search for more. Twitter is a good example of this.
But don’t take our word for it, to try it for yourself head over to www.newsle.com. Newsle recently launched in private beta. The first 1,000 readers to sign up with the beta key “techcrunch” will get in.