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Aggregator Wars: WaPo Launches ‘Trove'; NYT-Backed News.me on the Way

Paper rolls out free ”Pandora for news,“ while Bit.ly’s iPad news aggregator set to launch

The Washington Post has launched an aggregator that they are calling "Pandora for news" — just as another aggregator, with ties to the New York Times, is prepped for its roll-out.

The Post Company introduced the Web-based "Trove" on Wednesday — a "digital news experience that gives you easy access to the information you care about."

The free service "harnesses smart, flexible technology that learns from the choices you make."

"But it’s not just algorithms that drive Trove," Washington Post chairman Don Graham wrote in a Facebook note to readers introducing the aggregator. "Our editors are constantly working to inject the latest news onto the site’s home page and into channels of information that users can choose to follow. Meanwhile, our crew of engineers keeps Trove in a state of perpetual evolution." Ford is the launch sponsor, part of the reason the service is free.

According to a Wall Street Journal report in February, the Post is spending between $5 million and $10 million on the launch. (As TechCrunch points out, the company acquired iCurrent — a personalized news aggregation service — last July.)

The Post is hoping that Trove's social media-friendly status will help it grow. Users are able to create their own channels to share with their friends. (On the homepage, you are prompted to sign into Trove through your Facebook account.)

Trove is launching with apps for the Android and BlackBerry — with apps for the iPhone and iPad "coming soon."

Meanwhile, another aggregator with big media ties — News.me — is set to launch this week. News.me was developed by the team behind Bit.ly — the popular URL shortener — and the New York Times R&D Lab.

Unlike Trove, News.me has been designed specifically for the iPad.

And it's not free. It will cost $0.99 per week, or $34.99 for an annual subscription.

Bonus for reading this far: a cheeky video introduction the Post produced for Trove.