News aggregating apps are available a dime a dozen these days. These usually tend to aggregate news based on categories, location, user preference etc., however there seems to be a dearth of apps that caters curated news in regional languages. Enter OneIndia’s 60 Seconds Now app. The app provides various ‘news in brief’ in different Indian languages including Bengali, Gujarati, Hindi, Kannada, Malayalam, Tamil and Telugu, other than English.
The app, which provides curated 60-70 words of news in the aforementioned languages, was released in early January this year and hence has had some time to mature before we tried it out. On the first run the app prompts the user to pick their language of choice. This can be changed later via an icon on the top right corner that lets users choose the language they want the news in and allows them to set up notifications for selected languages.
News covered on the app includes regional, international, entertainment, business and sports. News can be sorted based on categories within news listings of each language. 60 Seconds Now claims that its editors handpick trending news articles from various news sources, summarise it and upload it. The articles themselves are generally short and to the point, however each language has its own set of stories, meaning readers of different languages will get different news.
Users can also choose to read the full article linked in the news short through the app itself. Basically the app acts as a web wrapper, and displays the source webpages as an embed within the app. Other than this the app lets users change to four different font sizes, set favourites and apparently disable/enable the images of all news. We could not find the latter feature though.
We wonder how much news a bunch of editors go through on a daily basis, and if the idea of curation will be relevant at scale. Another point is that since the news is curated, there is no way for readers to add their own feeds. Additionally, there is no way to block sources that are uninteresting to a particluar user. In short, it acts more like a news platform by itself, rather than a content aggregator. However, for casual readers wanting a source of news in different languages, the 60 Seconds Now app is perfect.
Competition: 60 Second Now’s biggest competitor is probably NewsHunt, which also offers regional news in Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, Punjabi, Oriya and Urdu. However, NewsHunt does not curate the content, instead the app prompts the user to select the languages of their choice and provides category listings in those languages. These categories list various news sources which visitors can directly visit. This is certainly a better option for heavy users who like to read full news from multiple sources, rather than limited curated content.
Note: Headline edited for clarity.