Digital Publishing
2 mins read

SmartNews crosses 10 million monthly users as it counters “fake news”

The award-winning news discovery app, SmartNews, just crossed 10 million monthly active users (in the U.S. and Japan), fuelled by a 200% year-over-year growth in the United States.

The SmartNews news discovery experience is unique in its focus on countering “fake news” through machine learning. Not just through algorithms, but by a process of curation both using machine language and trusted journalism sources.

Using this process, SmartNews analyzes millions of articles every day to deliver the top trending news stories influencing the world right now.

It curates news from more than 3,000 trusted sources—including global media brands such as USA TODAY, Reuters, NBC News, BBC, HuffPost, Vice News, Business Insider and TechCrunch—and has been downloaded by over 30 million readers in 100+ countries.

It’s currently the #1 news app per monthly user engagement in the U.S. and Japan, according to App Annie, the leading global provider of app market data. Quite an achievement in a market dominated by powerful players like Apple News, Google News, Flipboard, and Yahoo NewsRoom.

“What we have accomplished in the last 12 months both in Japan and in the U.S. demonstrates the long-term potential of SmartNews’s vision of delivering quality information to the world,” said Ken Suzuki, CEO and co-founder of SmartNews.

“We will continue to focus, in the coming months, on developing new features to provide more content that truly matters to our users.”

To weed out “fake news,” SmartNews analyzes a variety of proprietary signals beyond potentially false signals like likes and clicks, and examines if the user read the entire article to completion, whether the user shared it without reading, or if the publisher has a good performance history.

Then it uses machine learning to apply political balancing algorithms to ensure multiple viewpoints are expressed on important topics. Finally, it applies algorithms for diversification, which helps break the filter bubble by exposing “hidden” content that you might not normally see in your usual social network.

“The monthly active user growth trajectory of SmartNews is impressive in Japan and in the US in the last 12 months especially combined with over six (6) hours of usage per user per month on average,” says Danielle Levitas, analyst and EVP at App Annie.

SmartNews has been awarded as the best news app both by Apple and Google in Japan, and is available for free on Google Play or Apple’s App Store.

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