How Circa Is Rethinking News For A Mobile-First Audience

Trying to shove the entire contents of a newspaper into a mobile app is not the most efficient way to read news on the go. Which is why Matt Galligan created Circa, the CliffsNotes of news.


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The web spawned multitudes of new types of media outlets, but Circa is one of the first and most popular for mobile. Circa’s app is a stripped-down, on-the-go experience for mobile users that throws out the usual news-consumption models. Stories, which are put together by real editors and not automated like similar services, can be as short as four or five points that can include quotes, maps, and photos.

Circa comes with all of the bells and whistles we’ve come to expect from news apps, like alerts and sharing, but with functions that take advantage of being able to tailor the experience for each mobile user, such as the ability to follow a story and get updates. These updates cut out the repetition that happens in typical articles, which treats readers like they are new to the story every day. Circa knows you’re familiar with the story and just want the new facts.

Matt Galligan

In October, Circa relaunched their app with a new emphasis on breaking news. CEO and cofounder Matt Galligan said the new version has been well received, with Apple promoting it as the best new app of the week and Google choosing Circa as a Play Pick.

Readers seemed to be pleased too with the app and the content, if Circa’s favorited tweets are any indication. This one, from @_ztj–“It is my opinion that @circa is currently the best source of news regardless of medium”–like Circa itself, is short and sweet.

About the author

Jackie Snow is a multimedia journalist published in or on National Geographic, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Quartz, New York Observer and more.