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SmartTake Gives Readers a Balance of Breaking New and Positive Headlines, Along with a Finite Scroll

SAN FRANCISCO, Sept. 19, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- SmartNews, a global leader in news discovery, is redefining information consumption by announcing the launch of SmartTake, a novel newsfeed format designed to counter the anxiety caused by incessant consumption of negative news, also referred to as "doomscrolling." SmartTake is intentionally crafted to help users stay informed while prioritizing mental health of users and advancing overall well-being. It is available now with the latest update of the SmartNews app, for U.S. users only.

When users access the SmartTake tab in the app they are met with a new interface featuring uplifting stories, editor's picks, useful articles, and calming graphics. These small adjustments in the feed provide space for readers to take a step back and more thoughtfully consume stories, rather than impulsively scrolling through a copious amount of headlines that can oftentimes lead to a feeling of being overwhelmed.

"It's more apparent than ever that doomscrolling is a phenomenon having an outsized impact on our well-being," said Ken Suzuki, Chief Executive Officer of SmartNews. "Everyone is different in the way they consume information, but there are small things we can do to help improve our users' mental health. By giving SmartNews users an opportunity to experience newsfeeds in a new, unique way that balances the day's news with a dash of mindfulness and uplifting stories, we are taking our first steps to address this pervasive problem."

Many struggle with doomscrolling, some to the extent that it begins to impact their health and well-being. According to a 2022 study from Health Communication, 16.5 percent of respondents showed signs of "severely problematic" news consumption behavior, which can lead to greater levels of stress, anxiety, and overall poor health. In addition to this, the American Psychological Association recently acknowledged in its report, "Health Advisory on Social Media Use in Adolescence," that tech companies should consider the damaging effects of endless scrolling in their products' designs. In addition to including a mix of content designed to improve well-being, SmartNews has also implemented a definitive "end" to the SmartTake newsfeed, providing a sense of completion and directly addressing the research demonstrating how endless scroll negatively impacts mental health.

SmartNews deploys world-class editors alongside algorithms to deliver content that helps users feel good about being informed. To help ensure the efficacy of the human-led moderation, SmartNews taps the extensive experience of veteran journalists including Rich Jaroslovsky, VP of Content and Chief Journalist at SmartNews, and Wendy Bounds, Global Head of Content at SmartNews, alongside an industry-leading trust and safety team helmed by Arjun Narayan, Head of Trust & Safety.

"The team at SmartNews spent the last twelve months conducting research, reviewing academic studies, testing the new features in SmartTake, and speaking with health and habit experts to learn why people doomscroll and how we can help combat it. While this is just the beginning of our efforts, we are excited to launch this feature to begin to help address the habit," said Bounds. "Helping drive this effort are SmartNews' team of experienced journalists who handpick stories for the SmartTake feed balancing must-know breaking news and positive information."

The team at SmartNews spent more than 300 hours over the last year conducting research, reviewing existing academic literature and user testing to understand how doomscrolling can be stymied. Additionally, SmartNews qualitatively analyzed 48 research participants and quantitatively analyzed more than 7,000 responses, all of which helped inform the effectiveness of SmartTake. To help build on this body of research and continue producing new features designed with mental health in mind, SmartNews is creating an advisory board comprised of academics, entrepreneurs, doctors, and other subject matter experts. Participants will be announced at a later date.

SmartTake is currently available in the latest version of the SmartNews app in the Apple App Store and on Google Play (U.S. only).

About SmartNews
Founded in 2012, SmartNews is a leading global information and news discovery company, dedicated to delivering quality information to the people who need it. SmartNews provides news that matters to millions of users thanks to its unique machine learning technology and relationships with more than 3,000 global publisher partners.

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