News curation startup Scoop.it has arrived on the iPhone today, allowing you to create your own digital magazine while on the go. The app, which works alongside the Scoop.it web service, essentially lets anyone be a publisher for any topic. Or perhaps, the more correct word is not “publisher,” it’s “aggregator.”
Scoop.it “publishers” aren’t always writing and producing their own content, although that is an option. But Scoop.it’s main focus is on its content aggregation tools. Publishers select the best content from around the web and then publish it in a magazine-like format that looks similar to something created by Pressly or OnSwipe. Previously, this curation process was done either through a browser bookmarklet, by accepting content submission from others, or by accepting a post suggested by Scoop.it’s own recommendation engine. Now, with the new iPhone app, curation can be done from your mobile, too.
Using the app, Scoop.it users can select, edit and publish posts, review suggestions and share to their connected Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr accounts.
The app is a handy companion for Scoop.it itself, but only for those who already have their magazine up-and-running. You have to first set up your magazine’s topics via the web – you can’t begin the process using the app. That’s a shame since, for many people, the first time they’ll ever encounter Scoop.it is via the App Store.
News aggregation can be a touchy topic – is it right to re-publish others’ work and brand it as your own, even if you’re sending the sites traffic? Somewouldsayno. But aggregation has proved a successful business model in many cases, and the human-assisted curation that accompanies it, such as what’s provided by Techmeme for example, makes curation a form of content creation itself. Who’s to say that Scoop.it couldn’t form the basis of a thousand tiny, niche Techmeme’s in the future?
Scoop.it is currently a freemium service. Individuals can publish up to 5 topics per account, but have to use Scoop.it’s own branding. Business accounts offer more topics and features, including domain hosting and analytics for $79/month.