Tips: How to Create a News Aggregator App Like Reddit

July 28, 2015 | Raj Srivastav

Tips: How to Create a News Aggregator App Like Reddit

Tips: How to Create a News Aggregator App Like Reddit
Tips: How to Create a News Aggregator App Like Reddit

Since its inception in late 2005, Reddit has made waves throughout the tech world. For the first few years of its life Reddit was the darling child of tech nerds around the world, largely unknown to the average Joe.

Recently, that has changed. Today, Reddit is one of the most important news outlets for the millennial generation. More than that, the site has become more than just an aggregator for news; it’s become an unending fount of information. From the Ask Me Anythings (AMAs) to the hundreds of SubReddits, Reddit is one of the most important sites on the interwebs.

Reddit has recently received some negative press, angering many of its formerly dedicated viewers. The market is ripe for a new aggregator site, and thousands of former Reddit fans are seeking a new home. Why not give it to them?

Building a reddit-style site by yourself is an intimidating and lengthy process, which is why the expert app makers at SDI are here to help. Building a news aggregator is not necessarily complex, but it is extremely time consuming. At SDI, we have the time and the know how to create the perfect aggregator.

Ruby in the Rough

We always recommend that new products launch as an app, instead of a website. Apps are less expensive, easier to build and much more in keeping with the modern mentality. An app is the best option for the mobile modern consumer.

The first part of building anything is deciding what you want to use in its construction. It is no different with an app. We use several different frameworks when we make our apps, but our favorite is Ruby On Rails (or just Rails). Rails uses the generalized programming language Ruby to create a structure for your app.

Rails is what we refer to as a MVC, or Model-View-Controller, and is a great tool for developers. It is designed to decrease time spent coding, lessen repetition and to place information in one easy to find centralized location. Even better, Rails is specifically constructed to make the most of standard practices and to function flawlessly with other commonly used software programs.

FEED ME!

The best/only way to compile your data is through an RSS feed. An RSS (Rich Site Summary) feed is way for webmasters to publish stories, articles, blogs and other information that is frequently updated.

For an aggregate site or app, an RSS feed is not just useful; it’s absolutely essential. An RSS feed provides continual and new updates to your information. Without an RSS feed, a webmaster would need to go to every single site to get updated information.

Our favorite RSS feeder is another Ruby product. It is designed to work perfectly with Rails and is even backwards compatible so that it works with any RSS parser (a program that breaks up data into manageable pieces so that other programs can easily understand the data). Once your RSS gem is installed, you can start the curation.

Curation

One of the most laborious aspects of any aggregation app is what we call curation. An aggregation app/website is essentially a compilation of various different links, stories, pictures and so on. How do all of these items get compiled you ask? Unfortunately, the answer is manual entry.

This is what curation is: the process by which you find, upload and label news stories (or whatever you may be aggregating). It is boring, all-consuming, and is one of the leading causes for insanity in would-be entrepreneurs. That’s why you come to us – SDI will build, market, launch and maintain your website, all for rock-bottom pricing.

Curation also provides developers with the opportunity to glean key information about how the finished product will look. SDI’s developers use this time to figure how much data will be used and the storage capacity needed.

This is also where we decide what metadata to include, and the best way to display the app’s content categories. The categories are extremely important; interesting categories will draw in more traffic while boring ones will lose users. We like to take some time here and really decide the best course of action for the topic on which we are working.

Launch!

So, now we have the architecture, the sources, and feeder through which our information will be displayed. All that’s left is to launch your app. Of course, launching an app is, in and of itself, a labor intensive process. It involves prelaunch beta testing, where the big bugs are found and corrected, it actual launch, and, most importantly, it involves marketing.

Marketing your app is essential in a world with millions of apps. Social media marketing (SMM) and search engine optimization (SEO) are two important aspects of digital marketing.

SMM is a bit more traditional – it essentially focuses on getting information about your app into the world. The biggest thing with SMM is choosing the right strategy for the right site. Pinterest users expect different content than FB users. SEO makes your app search engine friendly and drives more traffic from sites like Google to your app. Feeling a little overwhelmed? Good news – SDI has an expert marketing team and can assist you in creating the perfect strategy.

Monetization is also a big part of the launch. We generally recommend offering apps for free, but including various ad models. Ad models should be unobtrusive, but still visible to the average user. There are various different ways in which you can monetize through ads – let us help you pick the best one.

Do you have a great idea for an aggregation app? SDI can build it from scratch, market it, and launch it all for a low price. We have built thousands of complex apps and websites for hundreds of customers – even global giants like Pepsico and Louis Vuitton. Give us a call at 408 802 2885 now for a free consultation! Or drop us a line at team@sdi.la and we will get in touch with you right away.

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