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Microsoft continues its iOS app acquisition spree with Prismatic, a news reader startup that Apple eyed


Since Satya Nadella took the reins from Steve Ballmer just over a year ago, Microsoft has been on an aggressive acquisition spree of cross platform apps and services. Most recently, the company bought the iOS email app Acompli then relaunched it as Outlook for iOS. Microsoft also bought Sunrise, the popular calendar software with an iOS app.

Aside from Microsoft and Apple, other interested buyers include or included Facebook, Google, and Yahoo (anyone missing?). Competing with Apple’s TestFlight acquisition last year, Microsoft even bought the beta distribution service Hockeyapp at the end of last year.

Adding to its list of recent mobile app acquisitions, TechCrunch reports that Microsoft is now eyeing Prismatic, a social recommendation network with apps for both iOS and Android. Prismatic describes itself as a personalized and social news reader.


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Review: Prismatic news reader revamped with increased focus on personal interests

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Prismatic is a news-reading app that creates a tailored feed based on each user’s personal interests. The app can analyze and crawl the user’s social data from sites like Twitter and Facebook, then analyze it for common threads that could point to specific interests. Once Prismatic is done analyzing the aggregated data, it recommends following topics it believes the user will find interesting.

Once the user has selected a few topics, Prismatic regularly tracks down content from all over the web that fit into these topics and presents them for easy reading. There are over 10,000 interests to follow, and Prismatic looks at over 5 million new stories each day.

The articles are presented on a news feed that combines all of a user’s interests on one page. Every article displays one or two lines of text, a photo (if the article includes one), and shows how many people have liked it, disliked it, or shared it. By liking or disliking a story in the news feed, users can help Prismatic’s algorithm continue to learn more about what types of content they want to see.

The Explore section lets users suggested interests and search for specific users or publications. If you find articles that you want to share, Prismatic allows you to publish links to them through Twitter, Facebook, or email.

If you’re searching for a smarter way to discover and read news on your favorite subjects, you should consider giving Prismatic a try. You can get it for free from the App Store