News.me is born

What do you get when you take everything good about Twitter — how it’s completely free, the reverse chronological news stream featured, the personalization it offers — and change it into something new and more expensive?

Apparently, something called News.me, a social news aggregator for the iPad released last week by The New York Times.

The application takes information from the URL-shortening service bit.ly and Twitter itself to compile a home page of sorts that filters some of the more popular links and stories from your account.

In all, it looks like this:

Here’s the thing, though: Unlike Trove, a remarkably similar application also just released by The Washington Post, News.me requires a paid subscription. After a week-long free trial, use of the app costs $0.99 a week or $34.99 a year.

It’s not a whole lot of money, but color me skeptical nonetheless. Why would anyone pay the cost of a newspaper or magazine subscription to have their news curated and laid out in a fanciful way?

The application reportedly favors links from certain sites — such as the Times, Gawker and the Associated Press — so it’s not even a wholly organic experience. And with Twitter already existing and always improving, News.me seems needlessly redundant — not to mention expensive.

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