The new WSJ app includes a personalized content feed
Laura Hazard Owen of the Nieman Lab writes about the new “My WSJ” app from The Wall Street Journal, which includes a personalized content feed.
Owen writes, “The AI is a big part of the strategy: The Journal really wanted this to be passive personalization. ‘We were trying to avoid, as much as possible, some Apple News–type screen where you have to select your topics before you jump in,’ said Izzo. ‘Any time you try to get people to set things up, it’s a barrier.’
“‘This is not the whole Flipboard model where you have to click through five screens [to get your customized feed],’ said Sudy. ‘We don’t have to ask you anything. We just know, by virtue of you being a Journal reader, what you’d like to read and what you should read. You don’t have to tell us anything.’ Journal parent company Dow Jones has for months been undertaking the process of tagging content across all of its brands and using those tags to create links between stories; it’s the technology that powers the ‘Related Stories’ feature on desktop, for instance. But this was the first time that the personalization had been brought into the app.
“When a user opens the Journal’s app, the first thing they see is the News feed, which looks the same for everyone and is curated by editorial. The My WSJ feed, meanwhile, is populated entirely through AI and doesn’t include human curation. ‘We wanted you to know very quickly that [News] is what editors are recommending, and [My WSJ] is recommended based on your habits,’ said Sudy.”
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