Volv for Brief, Unbiased News

April 5, 2021

We learn about an app that pares the news down to as little information as possible from Insider’s write-up, “Volv Bills Itself as ‘TikTok for News.’ The Snap-Backed App Makes News Stories You Can Read in 9 Seconds.” Who needs in-depth analysis, anyway? Co-founders Shannon Almeida and Priyanka Vazirani wished to create a source of unbiased news; I suppose eliminating any attempts to provide context is one way to do that. Writer Grace Dean tells us:

“It creates news stories, averaging at around 70 words, which users can read in less than nine seconds. The stories are listed in-app in a swipe format that’s easy on the eye. This is crucial to make the app attractive to its millennial target market, Vazirani said. People in their teens and 20s often check their phones before they even get out of bed, logging into various apps to view the latest newsfeed updates. On Volv, users can scroll through and see all the major news stories at a glance. The app combines breaking news with pop culture stories, such as explaining memes that are going viral. A prime example would be Bernie Sanders’ mittens at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. In this way, the app can show people the top political and financial stories and covert non-news readers, while also offsetting heavy stories with lighter reads. This approach is paying off. Volv publishes around 50 stories a day and its articles have been read nearly 8 million times so far. Its founders said it has a high retention rate, too.”

Almeida and Vazirani, who had no tech experience before this project, are delighted at its success—they certainly seem to be on to something. We’re told the pair received some good advice from successful entrepreneur Mark Cuban, who shared his thoughts on appealing to millennials and marketing their product to stand out from other news sites. Though Volv currently employs fewer than 10 workers, it is looking to expand to provide more diverse content. Launched last year, the company is based in New York City.

Cynthia Murrell, April 5, 2021

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