Why I’m Uninstalling a Great Mobile App from Yahoo!


Yahoo! News Digest mobile app is a gem. The experience is awesome. The news digest gets published twice a day at 08:00 AM and 06:00 PM. Simply consume the news as a healthy nine/ten/eleven nibbles. “Did you know?” at the end of each digest is always a good read. The subtle dots animations and parallax transitions are awesome.
But today, probably around 06:30 PM IST, with a heavy heart, I uninstalled this wonderful app.
Why, you ask?

You should avoid exposure to too much news of the depressing type. Show me someone who you think is always in a good mood and I’ll show you a person who (probably) avoids overexposure to sad forms of entertainment.
Scott Adams

Yahoo News Digest 8am
Yahoo News Digest 6pm

I hate to start my morning by reading negative news. I always felt that Yahoo! News Digest is trying to say that we are living in a world which is really a bad place. Probably they are true. But, we are all keeping faith in humanity, right?
A few months ago, I gave a feedback to the stakeholders via the app to push more positive news. It appears that it fell on deaf ears. To prove that my concern is right, I came up with this ‘highly unscientific’ way of recording the number of positive and negative news in each digest. I ran this ‘unscientific study’ from 01-June to 07 June — an entire week.
Let me clarify that the classification of a news item to be positive or negative is based on my personal views — this may not be true for you and most of you may not agree with me. Still, the exercise was fun.
Here are the statistics of Yahoo! News Digest — International Edition. First, let us look at the Morning Digest of 8:00AM.

Evening Digest of 6:00PM is always better as the number of positive news is more. See the graph below.

Other interesting facts:

  • Evening digests have more news stories (mostly 10 or 11) than the morning edition (mostly 9).
  • Positive news generally appear towards the second half of the digest!
Yahoo News Digest Glance

See the following heat map where the green squares denote positive news. The numbers from 1 to 11, on top, shows the order of news stories in a digest.

Now What? Reverb, Circa News and Zite!


In my opinion, the best alternative to the Yahoo! News Digest mobile app is ‘Reverb.’

Based on our behaviour in reading the news from this app, it learns to show the news that is relevant to the reader. I have this app in my iPad. Unfortunately, they don’t have an android version yet for my phone.
So I’m betting my money on ‘Circa News.’ It has both iOS and Android versions of the mobile app.

After a few weeks, I will be able to publish my views on Circa News.
One more app worth a mention here is ‘Zite.’ It also has iOS, Android and Windows versions of the mobile app.

Moral of the Story

Have you felt that news in various channels like internet, television, newspapers… is always cynical? Do you agree with my ‘unscientific study’ on how Yahoo! News Digest spreads negativity? Do you have any other suggestions for a good news digest app?
Do write to us in the comments section.