The world is defaulting to Sochi time as thousands of athletes, politicians, journalists and spectators gather in Russia for the 2014 Winter Olympics.
During the 2012 Olympics in London, we saw an outcry from users across news sites, apps and social media who were trying to dodge event results until they were televised in primetime. For many news organizations, including our own, it was counter to what we do – we report the news as it happens. At Breaking News, we called an audible and decided to stop tweeting and sending push alerts with results. Instead, we published real-time results to our apps and website and used Twitter and push alerts to tell users they could come get the information if they wanted it. Not the most graceful solution, but it solved the problem and we heard from many appreciative users.
We learned a lot from that experience. Users are not a homogenous group that all want the same thing. Personalization and customization are an essential part of any news experience, but especially a mobile experience.
At the end of 2013, we launched a completely new Breaking News app for iOS that lets users control what’s news to them and how they receive it. Today, we’re launching our updated app for Android users and we’re focused in on the 2014 Sochi Olympics.
NO SPOILER ALERTS NEEDED
The Breaking News app for iOS and Android allows users to experience a spoiler-free Olympics with just a simple tap of the screen. Avoid event results entirely by clicking the mute icon on the Olympics event results topic tag. Want to avoid all Olympics coverage, period? Click the mute icon on the 2014 Sochi Olympics topic tag.
CONTROL YOUR UPDATES
Our editors will be following the games and publishing updates on the events, as well as culturally significant moments (Team USA uniforms, anyone?) and related hard news, like protests and security threats. We’re organizing and sorting those updates to make it easy for you to customize your app experience.
Maybe you’re a big fan of figure skating and you can’t wait until after work to know if Gracie Gold lands her jumps, but you also want to wait for the broadcast of the US-Canada men’s hockey game. Maybe you’re just not into skiing and you want to skip seeing those results altogether.
You can get push notifications for the Olympic events you’re most passionate about by clicking the alert icons on the event topic tags. You can also save those event tags as “favorites” for a custom stream in the app. And you can avoid specific events by clicking the mute icons:
- figure skating
- speed skating
Breaking News lets you decide what’s breaking to you. Your Olympics, your way.