As platforms such as Facebook and Apple News slowly strangle the media industry, the NYT Now app for a moment provided a glimmer of hope. The app curated the best of the New York Times' stories, as well as stories from other publications. Maybe a news outlet could create its own highly entertaining news feed! Maybe it didn’t have to depend on a third-party platform to distribute its content!
On Thursday, what was left of that small dream died when the New York Times announced that it would shut down the project, saying that it had incorporated its best features into the main New York Times app.
Here at Fast Company this is how a chatroom full of editors reacted to the news as we added the app to our list of failed news experiments.
- "NYT Now is shutting down??? WTF"
- "Wait NYT Now is sitting down? I am truly heartbroken and shocked. It's one of the few apps I open every day."
- "Excuse me while i go make sure my friends still have jobs"
- "This is in many ways a sign of the problem with apps and discoverability right now. Apple has not done a good job of solving the problem at all."
- "figuring out an innovative way to deliver news doesn't solve the problem that every consumes content differently if it's not forcefed to you on Facebook."
- "NO! i love nyt now!!!!"
- "there are so few other good [news apps]"
- "because there's clearly not a business model to support one at this time"
- "the business model is go work for apple news"
- "the moral of this story is that if you aren't barfing up a stream of hot garbage all the time, you might be totally effed. but also, if you are barfing up a stream of hot garbage all the time, you are equally effed. please excuse me while i go lie down in some hot garbage and wail like a banshee before the impending death of our profession. #dailyeditorialmotivationaltalk"
Okay. Now that we got that out of our systems, may we suggest some fine alternatives to NYT Now:
The New York Times mobile app has incorporated some aspects of NYT Now for New York Times subscribers. While the NYT Now business model obviously didn't work out, some of its product design ideas will theoretically make the main app a better experience.
Nuzzel combs through your social media feeds to point out stories that your network has talked about most.
BuzzFeed's Sunday email is an excellent compendium of the week's best longform journalism.
And, of course, Fast Company has a wonderful newsfeed for business and technology news. Add the website to your phone's home screen! Sign up for its daily email digest! (Disclosure: I and everyone else involved in creating this article works for Fast Company).