GLOBAL: Reuters, the international news agency, has launched a new app that aims to provide business professionals with personalised content, in a move that marks a shift away from general news provision.

According to a press release the company released last week, the new app will enable users to construct topic-based feeds based on the vast number of stories that Reuters produces each day.

Billed as an “indispensable news utility”, the app has been designed to provide fast, accurate and relevant information to help inform the decision-making of users, who can also sign up to customised alerts, market watch lists and a series of other benefits.

Discussing the development in an interview with The Drum, Isaac Showman, the New York-based managing director of Reuters Consumer, explained that Reuters had come to realise that newspapers and other mainstream news organisations are often better-placed to serve general news services and that allowing its users to curate their own news represents a big shift.

By focusing on user utility and personalisation, Reuters wants to make its news app an indispensable tool for professionals, The Drum reported, although the content won’t exclusively cover business stories.

“People will subscribe to a feed on bonds and another one on Beyoncé. People have varied interests and Reuters is famous for covering the entertainment and commodities markets with the same level of rigour and quality,” Showman said.

Reuters TV, which Showman used to manage, has been integrated into the new app, which is free to access, supported by advertising and is being launched on the iOS platform with an Android version coming at a later date. In addition, users have the option of allowing ads to be customised to their interests.

After much testing and market research, Reuters discovered that “Breaking News” is the most useful service that the new app can provide, although more than 5,000 highly focused subject news feeds are available.

“The new Reuters news app is born out of the fact that people aren’t reading Reuters content with their feet up on the sofa,” Showman said. “They are looking at Reuters content when they need to make a decision, they want to know whether something has happened and whether or not something is true.”

To that end, Reuters is promising that all news stories that appear in a user’s customised feed have been checked over by its own journalists.

Sourced from Thomson Reuters, The Drum; additional content by WARC staff