Published by: Elvira Ashioya | Princess Odua | Jared Menya | Cain Odhiambo
Habari 100, a revolutionary news application app, is set to change the way audiences consume news. The application is geared towards the Kenyan market. It is expected to be released in a few months’ time. The application is currently undergoing beta tests. Habari 100 is a news aggregator application that is not media specific and would include the nascent blogs in Kenyan blogosphere. The expected features of the app include, use of key words in selecting news, breaking news alert and aggregating news from several media on one application. Online news is one of the most under-utilised products of the digital world. The cornerstone of this application is the summary of the news story in a 100 words within the application and allows the reader to assess whether the story would be
Despite, high levels of internet penetration- compared to other countries in Africa and other developing nations- the consumption of online news in the country has been dismal. This is so perhaps due to the fact that the news websites are not user friendly. The websites are mostly meant for pc rather than mobile web. Internet users in Kenya primarily use their handsets for access. This is evidenced by the Communications Authority of Kenya (CAK) data on internet penetration in Kenya. The regulator’s data indicated that 99% of internet access was through mobile network while 1% was through terrestrial and satellite connections. Thus the need for content to be tailored towards mobile web.
News aggregators are not new in Kenya. PDE by Standard Media Group and Citizen app by Royal Media Group are the most notable in the country. However, there is need for an application that cuts across all media houses. Habari 100 does just that. The application allows a user to access news from any media house and select which news will feature in the application’s timeline. This is done through selection of news genres that the reader wishes to be receiving and use of key words that are linked to the user’s interests. This feature relies on RSS aggregators to enable the users to receive news that are within their interests. Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary (RSS) feeders allow a reader to syndicate and aggregate news online.
The application would enable the readers to be exposed to only relevant news and articles from all the media organisations in kenya (that have subscribed to the application) and the bloggers that the audience would like to read from. A revolution in digital journalism is looming soon as the application is launched.