Busy journalists who lack the time to sift through the social media noise can use a free new iPhone application to identify the day's best social media information with just a few clicks.
Storyful’s editors cull the information provided by users and citizen journalists, identify the most pressing news of the day and present them in a curated format that helps readers and journalists comprehend that day's stories.
The site's forte lies in identifying credible sources and presenting that info in a comprehensible, easy-to-navigate manner. Storyful is free, but a paid premium service is available.
The iPhone app offers a featured section where curators highlight what they think are the most compelling stories of the day. Recent featured stories include one about Bahraini protestors objecting to hosting the Formula One race in their country. Storyful curators gather information from Twitter and You Tube and preface them with a summary that briefly explains the complexities of the story and provides some background.
In another example, Twitter lights up for 4/20, curators gather social media users' reaction, under the hashtag #420, to the issue of legalizing marijuana.
You can also search with tags to find stories, including country names, politicians and pressing global issues.
The app also offers useful "lists" where you can find popular Twitter timelines classified as follows: Regions, Breaking and Storyful favorites (pioneers, primary sources, celebrities). Al Jazeera, for example, is listed in the breaking section and Neal Mann, former Sky News digital news producer, is listed in the "pioneers" section. One caveat: the feature doesn't provide direct links to these Twitter accounts.
The application is currently only available in English, which might limit the information coming from non-English speaking countries.
This is the second iPhone app from Storyful in about a month. They recently launched Storyful Direct, which allows citizen journalists to submit Youtube videos to Storyful and share them with global partners.
When asked whether they would develop an iPad app, Storyful responded in a tweet: "At some stage, but we have some other priorities ahead of it in the queue."
Click here to download the Storyful iPhone application.
Image: Natasha Tynes