Recently Japan’s Hatena, the operator of the online bookmarking service Hatena Bookmarks (think Delicious, but still relevant), began teasing a news app called Presso . It’s scheduled to be released this spring, so expect it soon. And if you’d like to be notified of it’s release, you can leave your mail address on the teaser page.
This is encouraging to see, because I’m frequent user of Hatena’s ‘hot entry’ portal (pictured below), which has categorized popular links into areas like economics, technology, entertainment, anime & games, and video. My hope is that they at least port this sensibly to smartphones, although it’s possible that they have something entirely different in store. The company already has published a number of apps, including a Hatena Bookmark app. That app is largely text based though, and I expect Presso will be far more visual, with a focus on images and video hopefully.
As a recovering Delicious user who is currently addicted to Pinboard, I really like the way that these bookmarking sites can be used for discovery. And I hope Hatena sees that, and allows for users to choose certain niche topics to follow. For example, I often check the Pinboard tags for Japan and Python, which are incredibly useful streams of information on those two topics.
While news apps like SmartNews and Gunosy are dominating the headlines here in Japan these days, I really think that Hatena is sitting on some untapped potential in its bookmarking site if it plays its cards right.
My only concern is that it has taken Hatena so long for the company to try a mobile news app, so realistically speaking, that I expect they don’t share my own enthusiasm for a bookmarks-based news service. Nevertheless, I have I hopes that they can at least produce a decent challenger for the likes of Gunosy and Smartnews.
Let’s wait and see what Presso looks like when it actually comes out, and hopefully at that time, we’ll have some good news to report.
Hatena also runs Hatena Blog, Hatena Diary, and a Q&A site. ↩