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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Pandemic inspires Dubai-based Pinoy tech experts to pioneer OFW news app

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With close to 10 million Filipinos living and working abroad, any bit of news and information about friends and loved ones back home really matter, especially during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Young Filipino professionals in Dubai have developed a news aggregator app called “News in Bullets,” which makes news relatively easy to access.  It also provides ease in reading accurate and relevant news and information, filtering fake news in the congested digital space.

News in Bullets is a personalized news aggregator app that filters the news headlines based on preferred topics, and publication sources. The app gathers the stories that are of interest to subscribers, thus, saving them time in web browsing as news and information are presented in digestible bullet points.

‘Fruit of desperation’

The concept of the app was developed by a team of young talents in Dubai, mostly Filipinos when they were stranded away from home because of the pandemic. These Pinoy professionals felt desperate to get any bit of news about their loved ones back home, and how they were coping with the pandemic.

“Being almost 10 hours away from home—with a four hour difference in our time zones—is hard enough as it is as an overseas Filipino worker,” said RJ David, chief innovation officer of News in Bullets. “Through this innovation, we hope to bring news about home closer, when home is needed the most.”

He said the search for specific topics can be stressful when switching tabs and apps, and most of the time fake news proliferate in the digital space. “So we thought, how useful would it be for everyone, especially for OFWs [overseas Filipino workers], if we have an app where all the news items that matter are in one tab,” said David.

The news app, rated highly by 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.

News in Bullets company brings together highly skilled and passionate editors who 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.

“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, said.

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 No. 1 in News apps for Android and number 3 on iOS.

Filtering news and information also improve 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 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 woold 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 the 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 the Partnerships & Business Development division, 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 said the the News in Bullets app showcases the world-class talent of Filipinos working abroad who were inspired to create digital innovations to serve their fellow overseas Filipino workers and other nationalities.

He 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 kabayans in mind,” said Ancheta.

Read full article on BusinessMirror

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