Washington Post Social Reader: Editors’ note

September 22, 2011

We are delighted to introduce The Washington Post Social Reader, a new and immersive experience fueled by what you and your friends are reading and sharing.

We combined Facebook’s new “Read” edge with technology from Trove, our personalized news aggregation service, to create an app that chooses full-text content from multiple sources based on your past activity and your friends’ activity, once you have opted in to use the app. Based on your reading habits, the Social Reader will provide a personalized news site experience created just for you in the app. All you have to do is read, just as you normally do. No “recommending,” “liking” or “sharing” — just read and we’ll do the rest of the work. The app gets better the more friends you have using it.

Think of it this way: If only your friends who like technology news use the app, then you’ll get a lot of technology news. But if friends who are interested in football, or Obama’s new tax proposal, are using the app, then you’ll see their choices. In addition to all of The Post’s content, there will be full articles from Slate, Foreign Policy, The Root, the Associated Press, Reuters, Mashable, SB Nation, Sugar Inc., Wetpaint Entertainment, the A.V. Club, Express Night Out and GlobalPost, for starters. We plan to add more such news, analysis and opinions sources in coming weeks.

On washingtonpost.com, your experience is the same as it has always been: You can go to the site and find award-winning journalism and breaking news from the Washington Post newsroom, and you can choose to recommend stories and share them with your friends on Facebook. The articles you read on washingtonpost.com will not be posted to your Facebook network unless you click Facebook’s “Recommend” button. If you have connected to Facebook on washingtonpost.com, only the stories that you’ve chosen to recommend from washingtonpost.com will appear on Facebook. These stories will appear in the Social Reader only if you have opted in, giving us permission to share your washingtonpost.com activity through Facebook.

Even though you have to opt in to the Social Reader, we know you will have questions, so we tried to answer a few in our FAQ. If you have more questions, please don’t hesitate to e-mail us at socialreader@washpost.com or contact us on Facebook at facebook.com/socialreader or Twitter at @wpsocialreader.

Post Editors

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