News.me, a social news app developed by bit.ly in collaboration with the New York Times, is now available in the App Store. The free app aggregates news stories shared by Twitter users you follow in a format focused on legibility and ease of use.
bit.ly is a URL shortening service that is integrated into several sites, services, and apps. The New York Times is a somewhat surprising partner given its own recent move to erect a pay wall to restrict free access to its content as announced last month.
Since News.me focuses on news from your Twitter stream, you must have a Twitter account to use the app. Once you connect your Twitter account to News.me, you’re presented with existing News.me users you already follow and some selected News.me users to include your stream. Since the app is new, there are few users to select from so the news presented feels a little anemic at the moment. Fortunately, there’s a Big News tab that provides the most recent news from major sources like Reuters, NBC News, The Economist, and others.
News.me joins other social news apps like Flipboard and Pulse in the App Store. Unlike these apps, however, News.me is not free to use, requiring a subscription that costs $.99 per week or $34.99 per year charged to your iTunes account. There is a free 7-day trial available so you can try the app out first.
We’ll take advantage of the trial offered by News.me but our first impressions leave us favoring Flipboard instead given how it allows you to select from a much wider array of news sources.