I don't know if I'm 100 percent behind this trend in social/meta news reporting lately -- I tend to get most of my most insightful reading done from very long, well-researched stories, and so I still think there's a big call for worthwhile reporters and writers out there. But I also admit that I get much of my news, just in practice, from social media and quick glances at headlines and clips online. And that's where the new app Circa News seems to be coming from: It's an app that's designed to give you the news in small, bite-sized pieces, just pictures and facts centered around ongoing stories.
I get the impression that there is a team of editors behind this app (and the short intro that you get when you first set it all up says that the stories are curated and edited). But there are no bylines or anything: Circa is essentially just a bunch of little tidbits of news stories, that you can drag around and click through, and even follow if it's something you want to know more about in the future. It's interesting -- all the news that fits in 30 seconds, you might call it.
Just playing around with the app for a few minutes should give you a good idea of exactly how it works, but an app like this will have to present its functionality over time. My guess is that it will be good for catching up while away from your computer: Someone will mention a news story to you while out and about, and you'll pull up Circa quickly to see just the facts you need, only later going back to research more about the subject if you're interested. But we'll see -- just like any other news app, I presume this one will constantly be updated and tweaked according to how it's used and edited.
In the meantime, if you're interested, Circa's news app is available right now for free. I'm not willing to say it's the ideal way to get your news, but it could be helpful if you need facts right away on a specific story.