September 18, 2014

Longform.org, a website dedicated to curating excellent in-depth journalism, debuted its first iPhone app Wednesday. The app represents Longform.org’s first attempt at customization, allowing readers to tweak their story feeds according to their tastes.

“We’re trying to let you create your own reading list, your own diet,” said Longform.org founding editor Max Linsky in a phone interview.

Longform.org readers can now tailor their list of stories by following specific writers, a feature that will allow journalists to build up a following, Linsky said. This means freelancers who who are published by multiple news outlets can put all their work in one place, where their fans can see it.  The team at Longform.org is also planning to offer its writers the ability to view data for their stories, including scroll depth and number of views, Linsky said.

Any writer who wants to appear on Longform.org can fill out a form with basic info, including a name and email address.

The content that appears in the Longform app is generated by an algorithim, which scans a variety of publications for in-depth stories. Each of the stories displayed on the app are available free on the Internet, Linsky said.

Longform.org launched in 2010 with a mission to create a home for in-depth nonfiction on the web. Its apps offer a “reading view” that separates a desired article from clutter that appears on news websites — including ads. But it first defaults to a web view, which drives traffic to the websites where the article first appeared.

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Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of Poynter.org. He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism…
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