Startup of the day: Newswhip
Today’s startup of the day is Newswhip, the online news tracking company.
**Founders:** Andrew Mullaney and Paul Quigley
**Support:** private investors, NDRC Launchpad
**What it does:** tracks news shared on social networks
With the dawn of the online age came the torrents of information we have to sift through on a daily basis. As thousands of news stories are published each day, how can you find the best quality and the most compelling?
For the founders of NewsWhip, Andrew Mullaney and Paul Quigley, the answer lies with people. The Dublin-based company has built a technology that tracks all the news shared on Facebook and Twitter each day, to find the fastest spreading, most shared and highest quality stories.
"Before mass communications, news travelled from person to person," said Quigley. "It was essentially social news distribution. We are essentially returning to that model, we want to be the guys who measure all of that and provide the data."
NewsWhip's technology tracks all the news published by about 5,000 English-language sources, totalling somewhere around 60,000 news stories per day. The tool gathers social data for each story, such as the number of shares, likes, tweets and comments, at repeated intervals to show a live view of its popularity.
“Early on we made news content,” said Quigley. “I didn’t see a big value add in making more news. There wasn’t a big opportunity there, it wasn’t as saleable as helping people find the best news.”
While the company publishes links to the fastest spreading stories on its website, NewsWhip is also developing some pro tools aimed at newsrooms. The first, called Spike, tracks early trending stories from all around the world so journalists can see how their own stories are spreading, and also check other sites, blogs, video and other sources for new trends and stories.
“The key difference in what we do is look at how a stories interactions change over time,” said Quigley. “The score you see on NewsWhip is basically the speed, how many new interactions it has got divided by the time period in which it has got those interactions. We built it so that it gives much grander data about what is trending. What we are trying to do is make life a bit easier so in a newsroom you can stay on top of everything that is trending in different sectors.”
Currently the company is trialling the service with digital newsrooms including the BBC, CNN, and RTÉ. The company has also developed an engagement-enhancing product called the Social Amplifier, which displays a news company’s most trending stories in real time.
The founders met on the Create program at IADT in 2010, later winning a place on the NDRC Launchpad accelerator programme in 2011. NewsWhip has since moved to DogPatch
Labs in Dublin.
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