NBC News Digital Group's Breaking News operation has released a major update to its iOS app and the BreakingNews.com website that allows mobile users for the first time to personalize their breaking news feed.
The iOS version launched on November 4th and the Android version of the app is expected to become available in coming weeks.
The new features are designed to help users better control the news feeds they are receiving in a world where it is easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of content available.
"Sometimes it seems like everything is ‘breaking news' in today's social media world, so we've rebuilt Breaking News to instantly deliver what matters to you," said Cory Bergman, general manager of Breaking News in a statement. "Our new app is a personal alert service that enables users to control the breaking updates they want to discover without missing out on the unexpected. When combined with our track record of speed and accuracy, it's a powerful tool for a new generation of mobile consumers."
Key features of the new Breaking News app include an "Alert" tool that allows users to tap the alarm bell icon to get real-time push notifications whenever news breaks about a specific topic.
The app also has a "Mute" icon that can be tapped next to a topic or story so that users can hide it and all subsequent updates from their feed.
In addition, a "Whoa!" button allows user to post their reaction with other Breaking News users.
Other features include the ability to pinpoint breaking alerts on a map, save topics for later viewing, choose from a higher volume of updates and receive "editor's notes" about conflicting or inaccurate social media reports.
As part of the new app, NBC also announced that GE will be the first sponsor to work with Breaking News "to feature native advertising in the news feed that highlights how innovation through the Industrial Internet and Brilliant Machines are reshaping our world today," the company noted.