SkyGrid news app goes 2.0, unveils monetization strategy

Today, SkyGrid unveils the latest version 2.0 of its news aggregation app and introduces some significant enhancements. Changes include a more streamlined topics following and introduction of ads. The Following button on the app is much more prominent (and useful) now. On Twitter, you follow your interests – people and lists. You follow your interests too on SkyGrid app, but in the forms of news topics (people, teams, politics, etc.) and/or websites. Whatever you follow will be listed in the Following page. Whenever there are updates, the Following buttons will display number of available updates.

Another update is the display of interactive ads. Among the high-profile news apps, SkyGrid is one of the first apps (another is Flipboard) to introduce ads. Quite surely, ads strategy will be adopted by most (if not all) mobile news aggregators.

SkyGrid on iPad: Interactive ads

The older version of SkyGrid app was unappealing, unexciting and didn’t make it to 10 iPad Apps to Rock your News Experience. However, the latest SkyGrid version 2.0 impresses me. The app leverages on its Information Velocity algorithm (US patent issued on August 23 2007; invented by Founder / CEO Kevin Pomplun).

A method is provided of determining the how information from any information system changes over time. WebPages A through WebPages Z with nodes A through Z, are located, where A through Z are integers. Timestamp values for each of a node from A through Z are retrieved. Timestamp values from A are subtracted to create a denominator time value. A distance between the nodes A through Z is determined by calculating a number of edges in the digraph to create a numerator value. The numerator value is divided by the distance to provide a velocity value.

The patented technology is capable of detecting the fastest spreading news stories at a particular point in time. In addition to showing the trending topics in the real-time social web, the app retrieves latest updates on interests you’re following. It crawls over 1 million news sources – mainstream, blogs, social sites, etc. Like other news app, the app display article in excerpt and web modes.

SkyGrid on iPad: Single article view

SkyGrid Inc. was founded in 2005, with operation located in Sunnyvale, California. It launched its iPad app in April 2010 and currently available on iOS and Android platforms. Investors are RRE Ventures, BlackRock, Jeff Bezos’ Bezos Expeditions, Draper Fisher Jurvetson, DFJ Frontier, Esther Dyson and others.

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