return Home

How piqd wants to boost quality journalism and clear up the Internet for us

The Internet has turned into a place overcrowded with increasingly noisy content, which makes it hard to find news and information really relevant for users. It's a problem so-called news discovery services have been trying to solve for quite some time now. 

Platforms like Prismatic, Nuzzel, Newswhip or are based on algorithms which try to discover trends or social relevance by analysing how content is shared and distributed or how people consume information. 

In contrast to this automated solutions, which solemnly rely on Big Data as a source and predictive analysis for the discovery, or machine learning to understand relevancy, now piqd, a German startup based in Munich has entered the solution space to offer a curated service by experts as an alternative.

2 ()

Above: "piqd" by @berlinergazette, asks its readers if this is relevant content them

Services like Newswhip use social media to find the pieces which are trending. It uses social signals as indicators of content expected to trend soon. They surface such content with the help of algorithms and offer filter so that users can either filter based on the location or the subject they are interested in. The mass amount of data, of social shares, the crowdsourcing of curation, and the mathematical models are what makes this approach powerful.

spike ()

Above: Screenshot of Spike/Newswhip show how users can search for trending content applying multiple filters.

Nuzzel relies on a friend approach to get it right. Similar to Facebook but without limits of its algorithm preventing us from having access to the full potential social graph, Nuzzel uses your friends to understand which content might be interesting for you. This approach went into its visual design. A daily digest, which users receive by email, show which off your friends had shared the piece in question. As well as Newswhip this is also an approach which makes heavily use of the curation by many but in addition uses the social graph, our connectedness to people closest to us, to present only relevant pieces as long as someone believes that shared-by-friends is useful as a metric to measure relevancy.

nuzzel ()

Above: Screenshot Nuzzle newsletter digest

In contrast Prismatic uses machine learning and the interest graph to come up with content suggestions. It's (in its own words) “a personalized news feed that learns as you use it”. Users sign in and select topics of interest. The backend system learns from this selection and through the interaction of the user with its content. Relevancy as in case of all learning systems, will improve over time.

Frederik Fischer one of piqd's founders believes that there is a tremendous amount of hiqh-quality journalism on the Internet right now, entertaining, unconvenient, descriptive on a mission to help us understand the world around us. 

piqd ()

In the eyes of Fischer a sad truth: for increasingly more people social networks are the main destination to get the news. A problematic development, Fischer thinks, as social networks have their own agenda of how, when and what should be published an distributed via their systems. "It becomes more and more evident that social networks are not built for news," says Fischer in an explainer video on the startups' Facebook page and adds, that "journalism which takes more time doesn't show up on these networks, if it's not a real traffic booster."

Piqd wants to be an answer to that problem. Its founders want to be an alternative to Facebook. The platform aims to become the information sweet spot, where people concerned about a subject turn to to find a new home. In contrast to all the algorithm-driven sites and systems pigd works with so-called experts, namly journalists, scientists and politicians, who pick the most interesting piece of the day, curate it, adding an additional layer of comment and context. The role of the expert is to find something important in their domain on a daily base and to curate that information for the interested audience. Piqd wants to become a social network for content exchange which lives from its experts and the curated channels and probably from the community engagement which will be attached to each of its various channels. The plans at the moment are to monetize that additional community engagement. If you want to pick your content in the community, premium members will be asked to pay a small fee of €3 per month. The question is, if people would be willing to follow the idea of interest streams curated by a handful experts in contrast to the algorithm based content suggestion and discovery systems on the Internet available partly for free right now. 

Will people believe in piqd's promise to deliver content of higher value and relevance?

More like this

Time Inc. launches branded content shop 'The Foundry'

Sharethrough now enables publishers to automate sponsored content promotion

Spindle is a social app that encourages you to be selfish with your content

  • How can publishers thrive in challenging times?

    [Sponsored] Recently the WoodWing team traveled to London for the FIPP World Congress. For those of you who haven’t been lucky enough to attend yet, the FIPP World Congress is the largest and most high profile media event in the world. It brings together the world’s leading multi-platform media publishers and industry suppliers, to explore the latest trends and solutions.

    25th Oct 2017 Opinion
  • Are digital editions dead?

    Digital editions have been around for a long time, going all the way back to the late 90's. But in 2010 when the iPad hit the digital runway, publishers jumped on the tablet bandwagon faster than they could shout, “Hallelujah!”. The struggling publishing industry had found itself a saviour.  

    16th Oct 2017 Opinion
  • Publishers should re-emphasise their behavioural roots to take on Facebook and Google

    With Facebook and Google predicted to take half of the World’s total digital ad-spend in 2017, it’s no surprise that other players in the industry have raised concerns. But by updating their own data offerings to better reflect advertisers needs, media owners can keep pace with changing digital trends.

    25th Aug 2017 Opinion
  • How brands can capitalise on the experiential revolution

    If I were to ask you to describe the Internet of Things (IoT), I expect many of you would start to talk about how new technology is revolutionising the internet, providing “anything connectivity” through advanced networks, sensors, electronics, and software. And you wouldn’t be wrong.

    24th Aug 2017 Opinion
  • How subscriptions became a driver of profit at The Economist

    Subscriptions have become The Economist’s biggest income stream in the past seven years. Michael Brunt, chief marketing officer and managing director, circulation at The Economist explains how they managed to transform the 174-year old title’s circulation business into the biggest driver of profits.

    9th Nov 2017 Features
  • Do publishers and platforms really need one another?

    We speak to media and social media blogger, consultant and lecturer Adam Tinworth on the evolving relationship media brands have with social platforms.

    8th Nov 2017 Features
  • The state of brand licensing around the world

    Recently, there has been a period of time where there was somewhat of a slow-down in international brand activity as companies focused on shoring up their bases. However, this year we have seen an increasing number of reports surfacing about media companies adopting a more global outlook again – at least in certain segments. Does this mean a renewed focus on brand licensing, and in what form? And what is the outlook as we head into 2018?

    13th Nov 2017 Features
  • CDS Global and Zeddit announce tech partnership to help publishers grow print magazine subscriptions

    CDS Global and Zeddit announced a strategic technology partnership in the UK and Australia to provide advanced subscriber conversion capabilities for print magazine publishers. The partnership will focus on improving the conversion of visitors to magazine websites into subscribers for CDS Global clients.

    13th Nov 2017 Industry News
  • How Egmont is reaping rewards from creating

    One of the biggest drives for publishers in the past decade or two have been transitioning their print content to digital. For some it is all about maintaining the magazine's brand essence online, yet others have enjoyed success in amalgamating print publications to create new web first brands.

    13th Nov 2017 Features


Visit our Youtube channel



FIPP newsletters allow you to keep up with industry trends, research, training and events across the world



Get global coverage of your launches, company news and innovations


Upcoming @ FIPP

What’s happening now, what’s coming next

Go to Full Site