What does breaking news sound like?Circa, the popular mobile news app built on brevity, thinks it can name that tune in one second.
Circa News 2, which launches today, is the latest rethink of how news is written, delivered, and consumed for people on the go. Key to the new approach is mastering the misunderstood art of push notifications.
"We want something that’s going to evoke emotion, something that has a sense of urgency but not interruptions. I want something that’s going to be synthetic but inviting."
In 2006, one of the most vibrant social networks in the world was the photo-sharing site Flickr. By November, Google had purchased the video-sharing site YouTube for 1.65 billion. But lost in that year’s community-content boom was a little company called Ear-Fi that hoped to do for audio what Flickr and YouTube had already done for photos and video. Founder Manolo Espinosa says, “Our idea was, ‘Hey how about setting up a platform that helps people tell stories as simple as talking, sharing as simple as clicking a button, and listening as easy as picking up a phone or computer?’”
It was an inspired notion. After all, in the broadcasting revolution of the previous century, radio came before TV. Why shouldn’t there be a platform where professionals and non-professionals can share sound clips as easily as photos or video clips? And the timing was perfect, or so it seemed–-the financial crisis hit the following year, and Ear-Fi never made it through 2008.
Now Espinosa has a second chance to revolutionize how the web listens to itself. Last September, he became the “Head of Audio” at SoundCloud, the sound-sharing platform famous for its orange and blue audio player that lets listeners comment directly on a clip’s waveform.