Over the years, the world of online content has become
increasingly convoluted and disjointed.
The best articles get lost beneath an avalanche of biased pieces,
clickbait and content that’s too lengthy to read. All of this adversely impacts
the average person’s ability to access credible media outlets that allow them
to remain informed in today’s ever-changing world.
In the digital age, the biggest issue confronting the news
industry is verifiability. In other words, how can readers be certain that what
they’re reading is true? Moreover, how do they know whether a particular media
source is trustworthy?
The growing lack of credibility within the media industry became
the impetus for Ran Reichman and Rani Horev to create a fresh alternative to
today’s prevailing media model. Known as Snip, this innovative news site delivers short, to-the-point summaries
of the day’s most important stories and events. Through the use of
state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms, Snip allows readers to tap into
targeted news feeds on topics customized around their interests.
“I founded Snip in May 2016 with machine learning and data science
specialist Rani Horev, a co-graduate of the elite Talpiot program of the
Israeli Defense Forces,” said Reichman. “Both Rani and I were frustrated by the
low quality of news and how hard it was to find high-quality, interesting and
brief content. Basically, there was a lot of long and good content and a lot of
short and bad content, but almost no high-quality short content. We started
Snip as a small Facebook page for friends and family and it gradually grew to
more than 30,000 users and 1,400 paying subscribers.”
When asked for a basic overview of Snip’s value proposition,
Reichman was succinct: “Snip is a news platform which keeps you updated on
things that are happening in the world, personalized to you and in a short and
concise format,” he said. “The headlines are anti-clickbait, allowing you to
understand what the story is about before clicking on it and wasting your time.
Snip quickly learns what you care about and provides you with stories on those
topics, in addition to enlightening stories on other topics.”
The platform’s core model, Reichman said, is predicated on a
distributed system where a worldwide collective of content generators curate
short news submissions, or “snips,” that are then read by others on the site.
Snips can be accessed in a number of different mediums, including audio and
video, in addition to traditional, text-based posts. At its core, the site is
censorship resistant — a characteristic generally viewed as a key element in
the democratization of journalism.
gathering and curating online content, site curators are incentivized and
rewarded for their efforts. The Snip online community connects writers to
readers directly, mitigating the risk of censorship and bias inherent in the
legacy news industry.
entire process is seamless, with end users able to take in their own collection
of snippets which are personalized through machine learning algorithms. The
ultimate goal is to ensure that users can have a quality site experience
without needing to understand the intricacies of the distributed technology and
cryptocurrency systems undergirding the site.
can generate income from their efforts. Currently, those rewards are in the
form of fiat currency with plans to transition to the site’s native
cryptocurrency, SnipCoin, an ERC20 token secured by the Ethereum blockchain.
will have the ability to utilize SnipCoin to purchase premium services such as ad-free
news feeds, audio snips and customized written content. Additionally,
advertisers will eventually be able to use SnipCoin to purchase ad space to
increase their visibility on the platform.
SnipCoin distributions will begin in late September with the
commencement of Snip’s token sale, where a total of 3 billion coins will
eventually be released. The initial coin offering (ICO) is valued at $8
million. Upon completion of the ICO, the project will launch in a closed,
invite-only alpha format for the purpose of testing critical features germane
to the site such as comments, voting, customized news feeds and spam
Reichman, for one, has strong opinions about ICOs, noting that
project developers often launch ventures without any credible evidence of a
functional product or service model. Snip, he added, transcends this as a
result of already having tens of thousands of active users, as well as over a
thousand paying subscribers.
This proven functionality, he said, should give “our ICO
participant confidence that the Snip team will create a product people will
actively engage with and enjoy.”
A New Era of Blockchain-Driven Content
Blockchain-based news delivery offers immense possibilities in
terms of how news could be digested, whether on social media or mainstream
media feeds. This nascent technological movement has the potential to decentralize
control, remove third-party intermediaries from public news access, prevent
censorship and promote bias-free content.
According to Reichman, Snip is uniquely positioned to capitalize
on three major trends that are currently reshaping the media landscape:
Tokenization and Cryptocurrencies: Tokens allow companies to turn their users and contributors into
real stakeholders of the ecosystem, making them ambassadors of the product.
This is especially important in news, where distribution is a huge challenge.
Machine Learning: Snip uses machine learning to find the best content online, then
offers it to writers and subsequently personalizes the content to users with
additional machine learning technology.
The Rise of the Millennial Generation: As opposed to previous generations, millennials never got used
to reading print newspapers and expect an online-first news outlet — ideally, one
which is smart, interactive and to the point.
When asked about his greatest hope and vision for Snip over the
next 12 to 18 months, Reichman laid out his thinking.
“Our vision for Snip is to become the go-to place for news, a
household name which everyone can rely on for information on what’s going on,
and also to discover new and interesting topics of conversation,” he said. “In
18 months we aim to reach more than a million daily users.”