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Content distributor app Inshorts has launched Insiders—an exclusive community for the ‘power users’ of the application. Members of Insiders will get a first-hand experience of all new features that Inshorts will develop in the future.

More than 20,000 users have signed up to be part of this community within 24 hours of its announcement on the app. These users will help Inshorts with building a next generation intuitive content recommendation engine through their active feedback and participation.

Azhar Iqubal, CEO and co-founder, Inshorts stated, “As a young startup that is scaling its content, there are many directions that we would be taking to achieve growth. In doing so, we want to trust the feedback of our users instead of imposing boardroom decisions on all our users. Some of our best product ideas have come from our users and the ‘Insiders’ community would help us in leveraging these inputs on a consistent basis. In short, every reader can now become a product manager at Inshorts.”

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He further added that as the startup scales, Insiders would be its sounding board that will help it keep in sync with their fundamental promise. Apart from online communication, the Noida-based startup will also be conducting city-wise meet-ups of its Insiders’ members.

Besides proving aggregated news items, Inshorts now also incorporates videos, infographics, podcasts and blogs among other things, thereby, evolving from a news aggregator to a content discovery platform. In July this year, it raised $20Mn  from existing investor Tiger Global Management.

This October it acquired Palo Alto & Bangalore based startup BetaGlide – the company behind Retention.ai, which helps app developers track uninstalled users, draw insights on user experience and improve user retention.  The acquisition was a step towards improving mobile experience for customers as Inshorts plans to reach 5 Mn app downloads by the end of 2015, and hire over 100 content writers by end of the year to establish a mobile content powerhouse in India.

Another notable player in the segment is the local language news story mobile app, Dailyhunt, which had acquired a product discovery and recommendation platform, Buyt.in for an undisclosed amount this July.

The news curation and aggregation space has seen the entry of many other player this year such as Mumbai based PIPESGSF backed Newsbyte – which aims to filter out the most apt news for the readers from all the available news & sources and provide it in a contextual timeline; Way2News – which will focus on offering news in local languages and Raghav Bahl’s digital news venture The Quint. Then there are Tenreads and Murmur.


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