Unable to come home because of the Covid-19 pandemic, Filipino tech experts in Dubai have developed a mobile app that generates information from reliable news organizations.
Called News in Bullets, the news aggregator app summarizes news from major news outlets not only from the Philippines but all over the world, making top global stories very easy to read. It also alerts readers once a new article comes up and has the capability to filter fake news.
RJ David, chief innovation officer of News in Bullets, said their app filters the news headlines based on preferred topics, and publication sources. The app gathers the stories that are of interest to the subscribers, thus, saving them the time in Web browsing as news and information are presented in digestible bullet points.
“Being almost 10 hours away from home — with a 4-hour difference in our time zones — is hard enough as it is as an Overseas Filipino Worker,” David said. “Through this innovation, we hope to bring news about home closer, when home is needed the most.”
He said searching for news and information on specific topics can be stressful when switching tabs and apps, and most of the time fake news proliferates the digital space.
“So, we thought, how useful would it be for everyone, especially the OFWs, if we have an app where all the news items that matter are in one tab,” he added.
The news app, rated highly by the Google Play and App Store, supports readers’ fast-paced needs to get relevant and accurate information in more than 65 languages, from Azerbajani to Zulu.
Highly skilled and passionate editors sift through news sources and weed out potential misinformation so the subscribers will not fall into the fake news trap.
“It’s amazing how Filipinos abroad can perfectly collaborate with diverse talents from other cultures in order to bring our common goal of delivering quality service for readers and publishers alike,” said Clarence Ancheta, chief technology officer.
The concept of the app was developed by a team of young talents in Dubai, mostly Filipinos. But the team also includes other nationalities.
“We all felt desperate to get any bit of news from home, and how our loved ones may be coping with the pandemic,” Ancheta said.
“Acts of service is my love language to the world. And serving the global community with honesty and faith is what guides me to trust the process and our colleagues. This is the foundation of how I serve in News in Bullets,” Alleda De Los Reyes, chief human resources officer at News in Bullets.
News publications can partner with News in Bullets to increase their traffic in the digital platform, and raise the number of readers. Publishing firms can profit directly from the increased readers, and share in the advertisement revenues.
So far, News in Bullets have reached a total of 22,627 active app units for both iOS and Android, and has been ranked number one in News apps for Android and number 3 on iOS.
Filtering news and information also improves the mental health of readers as they are spared from reading topics that are stressful, including Covid-19.
“There are some users who feel that they would be better off if they don’t read news regarding Covid or other topics they deem too stressful for them. Because of that, we are building a fully customizable environment to care for their mental well-being while also keeping them up to date with the news that matters,” said Ancheta.
He said the company will soon open its platform to the public so they can generate content in the News in Bullets app. “This means that if you have a profile in our app, and agree to comply with our community guidelines, you will be free to post your own news content and potentially earn from the traffic you generate.”
Through its Newsreels section, News in Bullets also targets youth who are highly engaged in social media. The section allows the subscriber to view and upload their video content similar to the famous apps TikTok and IG.
Harold Diolazo, head of partnerships and business development at News in Bullets, said the app caters to everyone who deserves quality, timely, and relevant news and information.
“We believe that it would be limiting if we focus our energy and creativity on a specific audience type. Hence, we aim to be accessible and enjoyable for absolutely anyone,” said Diolazo.
Diolazo expressed hopes that by presenting news and information in bullet points, the app can improve the reading habits of people.
“It does not take as much time to read news of preferred topics, and there’s literally more information to take in just a few lines. I hope that our app can positively impact readership in the Philippines, as we made this app with our ‘kababayans’ in mind,” said Ancheta.