App review: NewsWhip tells us what people want to hear

App review: NewsWhip tells us what people want to hear

NewsWhip professes to introduce us to fantastic stories, great sources and quality news. Whether the stories are quality or not is debatable, because the idea behind the app is to show us the content that's most shared on social media.

The creators call this social velocity: they say they add about 200,000 stories to the database daily and constantly assess how much it's shared and liked on Facebook, and how much it's tweeted.

It also looks at where the content is from so you can see what's most popular in your country, if you're in one where NewsWhip is available, that is. Current that's the US, the UK, Canada, Australia, India, New Zealand and Ireland.

There are a variety of other filters, like when stories were published and where, and the topic they're about. It's a free app for iPhone and Android devices and is a useful tool for anyone who needs to know what sort of news is grabbing eyeballs and getting reach among the crowd.

That will include any company needing to spread a brand message and news organisations that need to know what gets hits. The end game, say the founders, is to map the genome of viral news distribution.

If you want an app that brings you news you think will be a quality read, you're best to go for an aggregator to serve up content from providers you trust. But this is an interesting glimpse into what the social crowd in your country thinks is hot.

When I tried this app, that included quite a few sports stories, the revelation that Usain Bolt likes chicken McNuggets and a family forced to flee killer spiders that rode in on a bunch of bananas.