We have something new for you to try. Something a little bit different. It’s an experience we think will reward your time and attention.
Today, Kinzen launches its first product, an iOS app that puts you in control of a mindful daily news routine.
If you’ve been following Kinzen, you know what makes us stand out from other news apps. No one needs more news. What we desperately need is a more productive experience of news.
We have digital tools which give us a sense of agency in every aspect of our lives. Sleep. Diet. Exercise. Mental health. There are apps for all of that, offering pathways to daily habits that add value to our life.
Why not news? If information is power where is the news app that makes us feel powerful? Where is that app that helps us build a healthy news habit?
The research tells us a growing number of people are engaging less with news on social platforms. They are connecting directly with quality journalism, but want multiple sources without multiple paywalls. They want news that is personal, curated and fits neatly in their daily routines.
Kinzen is the first experience of news built for this empowered news seeker. Our goal is to build an easy, intuitive pathway that balances personal control with simplicity and serendipity.
Our approach is truly member-driven. For the past five months, first members of the Kinzen community have tested early prototypes of our app and suggested ways around the challenges we met along the way.
In the ‘first mile’ of the member’s journey, we were told we needed to offer more than a blank page. So, in their very first seconds of interaction, the new Kinzen member will discover news aligned with their home place and their primary passion in life.
One of the earliest demands from our community was for a news routine that could be matched to the “rhythm of my life” (to use one unforgettable quote from a tester). So as a premium feature of the Kinzen journey, the member creates digests to fit the key news breaks in their day. The right story, from the right source, at the right moment.
When a member opens a channel or views an article, they can dynamically rank the topics and sources they see. They offer feedback to the articles, helping our recommendations system but also creating a more meaningful assessment of journalism than the shallow metrics of clicks, hearts and likes.
Kinzen is not another social network. Our first members told us they don’t want virality or popularity to shape their experience. But Kinzen is a community which values the role of the curator: the active member with deep expertise and an interest in paying that forward to the wider community.
The first curators in our community have worked with our Community Editor to decide what sources should surface in the app. Some of them have built their own public channels which other members can access through our Discover section.
In the months to come, our Community Editor will work with the emerging Kinzen curator network to design and build tools and incentives that maximise the value of its work.
While building an app for active news consumers, we’ve also designed a unique relationship with the publishers of quality journalism, both established news organisations and emerging voices.
The news in the app today comes from the open web, so our basic contribution to publishers is a source of traffic to their websites. But that value will evolve and grow in the months to come as we connect our members to premium content, based on our unique understanding of their interests.
Kinzen has one job: to create the most productive personal experience of news. If we do that job well, we build deeper personal engagement between news seekers and publishers. And that means more opportunities for direct reader support of journalism, both within the Kinzen app and the publisher version of the Kinzen experience, which will be launched later this year.
The Kinzen mobile app is free to download, and we offer a limited range of channels and services for free. We think we can quickly prove the value of becoming a premium member. Unlocking the full power of personal curation within the app costs just $/€4.99 per month. We also offer group subscriptions.
Yes, the Android version of our mobile app is a priority for the months to come. But rather than wait any longer to test our assumptions, we are putting the Kinzen experience in the hands of its first members.
The app may take a little getting used to. You may hit a few dead ends as you find your own path. But the one promise we make today is that Kinzen will become what you make of it. In every source you suggest, each piece of feedback you offer. In every conscious choice you make on the road to a better news routine.