4 Content Apps to Help Break Through Online Clutter

4 Content Apps to Help Break Through Online Clutter

For those of us who spend our free (and not so free) time browsing articles, listicles, news, and memes on the Internet, the sharp increase in the number of people posting content is a welcome development.

For the more easily overwhelmed, the sheer amount of available content and the 24-hour temptation to refresh social media feeds has made digital detoxes as fashionable as juice cleanses. But banishing digital content on a long-term basis is neither practical nor possible for most of us. Maybe what the digitally exhausted need isn’t an online purge, but rather a better way to find and consume the best content — and filter out the junk.

Content aggregating and curating apps and websites have sprung up to help decipher the good from the bad and the noteworthy from the mundane. If you’re looking to streamline your focus, check out these content apps for some help.

1. Hyper

Hyper is a standout pick. Recently acquired by Mic.com, Hyper touts itself as “a first step to rethink how we consume video in an age of content overload.” When you first open the app, you are prompted to pick from a range of topics, from “Tech & Science” to “Impactful Global Stories” to “Humor.” You can choose as many topics as you like.

Behind the scenes, a team of Hyper curators sifts through hours of online videos to handpick the best from around the web. Six to 12 pieces are delivered to your screen daily, based on your interests. This means you don’t have to wade through hundreds of Facebook posts or links to find the quality video content that most interest you. The app is updated every morning, but you have the option to look back at past selections, too.

The common denominators amongst Hyper’s eclectic selection of videos, which range from two to 20 minutes in length, are a certain intellectual bent and impeccable artistic execution. Rather than highlighting viral videos, you’ll find top picks created by professional journalists and film directors who have something more meaningful to express than, say, the latest in kangaroo street-fighting. The content is intriguing and often breathtakingly beautiful—you never know what you’re going to get.

2. Medium

The blogging platform Medium, created by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams in 2012, is an outstanding example of social journalism.

The idea behind Medium is simple: It’s a space where anyone can share stories and ideas. Medium has become a source for “daily news reimagined,” as the company puts it, with contributions from journalists, authors, thought leaders, entrepreneurs, industry experts, and ordinary people.

Medium allows users to follow both individual writers and topics they’re interested in, and provides a tailored selection of new articles each day. Articles include estimated reading times, a helpful feature when you only have a few minutes to catch up on the latest posts.

Some articles have gained quite a bit of traction and even sparked national debates. Take the infamous letter from a young Yelp employee complaining about her salary given the cost of living in San Francisco. Originally posted on Medium, the letter’s publication sparked a wide-ranging debate on issues ranging from millennial attitudes to work culture to poverty. It even elicited a response from the CEO of Yelp on his Twitter page.

3. Mode Stories

Last year, publishing giant Mode Media, the world’s largest digital lifestyle media group, decided to merge its channels into a single platform: Mode Stories. The content platform and app includes a network of more than 10,000 authors worldwide and boasts more than 100,000 stories, lists, and videos.

After registering on Mode, you are urged to pick channels you are interested in, including food, music, and fashion; follow your favorite writers; and start discovering the content that interests you the most.

Unlike Medium, Mode is not designed to be a “voice for the people,” but a platform for premium writers, and space is limited primarily to professional journalists and bloggers.

Each piece of content is itself a curation, pulling photos and links from other sources to create a comprehensive reading experience. Clicking on the article “Proof That You Need a Deep Fryer,” for example, you will find images of deep-fried corn-on-the-cob and other crispy delights paired with clever captions that link out to recipes and related articles.

4. StumbleUpon

StumbleUpon is the perfect alternative to social networks when you need to kill time. It was created as a browser extension, but is now available as a user-friendly app.

The app asks you about your preferences and interests, and then suggests articles from a range of websites, one by one, in a not-quite-random content lottery. Once you’ve read the article, you note whether you liked it or not, and the app’s algorithm adapts to your input. The more you “stumble upon” something that holds your interest, the better the app’s recommendations.

For us, the app’s one-article-at-a-time ethos is a much-needed break from the buffet-style presentation of most online content. Additionally, StumbleUpon mixes fun, interactive items in with the videos and articles, creating a nicely diversified stream of distractions.

Whether you are overwhelmed by the vast expanse of content available on the Internet or have an insatiable appetite for new content, we are sure you will find at least one of these four apps to your liking.

posted by Magnify Team | July 29, 2016@

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