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SmartNews Innovates: Conquer Doomscrolling with SmartTake – A Shift Towards Positive News Consumption

In a revolutionary move, SmartNews, a well-known news aggregator app, launches its innovative feature, SmartTake, to combat doomscrolling. Through a unique blend of uplifting stories and mindful content, SmartNews signifies new strides toward improved mental health in news consumption.

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Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver is a renowned writer, celebrated for his vibrant storytelling and intricate world-building. Beyond being an writer, he's an artist, dedicated to crafting stories that captivate, transform, and linger.
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In an innovative approach to news consumption, SmartNews, a renowned news aggregator app, presents its users with a new feature.

The aim? To combat the widespread behavioral compulsive scroll through negative news, typically referred to as ‘doomscrolling’.

SmartNews Creating a Balanced News Consumption Experience

The proposed change is not subtle. Gone are the times when SmartNews could be solely recognized for its intense news alerts designed to catch the user’s attention and instigate app usage. The traditional style, ordinarily saturated with eye-catching stories, often reported incidences of unforeseen remarks by government representatives, public figures, crime incidents, or disasters.

The transformational feature, known as SmartTake, plans to revolutionize the typical news relay style, inspiring more engagement with motivational news instead of shocking tabloid reports.

CEO’s Perspective: The Combined Need for News and Mental Health

Ken Suzuki, the CEO of SmartNews, brings to light the grave importance of this innovative initiative. He acknowledges the significant influence of ‘doomscrolling’ behavior on individual mental health. Suzuki emphasizes how every user has a unique style of information consumption. However, he believes that it is important to ensure a balanced consumption, mixing the day’s headline news with uplifting stories and a trickle of mindfulness. SmartTake represents a first attempt at addressing this widespread issue.

One Step Forward, Two Steps Back?

The theory behind SmartTake seems wholesome. In practice though, it does not quite hit the mark.

Sample this. On any given day, you may encounter stories like a centenarian’s secrets to a long-lived life or teenagers leading from the front to tackle the mental health toll of social media. These stories are undeniably encouraging. Alas, they aren’t consistently served in such a positive light. Shockingly, there are also paywalled stories featuring violence and espionage – the very antithesis to the mood-lifting stories it promises.

Regardless, the design isolates this hybrid news offering under one tab, helping users to filter through its comprehensive content without being pulled into the whirlpool of negativity elsewhere in the app. The offering includes succinct briefs structured in easy-to-digest bullet-point format, akin to Axios – attempting to balance the need for staying informed without overwhelming with lengthier features.

Building Upon Extensive Research

SmartNews claims that the development of SmartTake was backed by a thorough work of more than 300 hours over the previous year involving extensive research and academic literature review on ‘doomscrolling.’ Moreover, a mini study involving 48 respondents and the analysis of their 7000 responses played a significant role in constructing this feature – built with a focus on mental health.

SmartNews plans to form an advisory board consisting of doctors, entrepreneurs, and subject matter experts.

The content of the feature is scrutinized by Rich Jaroslovsky, VP of Content and chief journalist, Wendy Bounds, ex-WSJ, ABC, CNBC, and now global head of Content at SmartNews.

First Major Announcement Staff Cuts

SmartTake is the maiden significant news following SmartNews’ major staff reduction at the commencement of this year. The Tokyo-based news aggregator had downsized its US and China workforce by 40%, affecting nearly 120 people. With the launch of this service, SmartNews, valued at 2 billion dollars as of 2021, is committed to pioneering a balanced approach to news consumption.

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