Frequently Asked Questions

Our Mission

Our mission is to give every citizen a daily news experience that earns their trust.

Our Community

We are building a news community shaped by the conscious choices of its members, rather than the worst instincts of a crowd.

Our Values

Personal Empowerment: Every individual member has the right to a safe and empowering daily routine of news.

Common Purpose: Our community will be liberated from the shallow metrics of claps, clicks and likes, and empowered with purpose-driven feedback and sharing tools.

Shared Facts: Our community will be united by a news experience that is free of misinformation and hidden manipulation.

Valued Sources: Our community will connect conscious citizens with news publishers who value their trust and reward their attention.

Your data

Kinzen is fully (and proudly) compliant with GDPR. It is one of our core design principles to separate personal information from all other data. Where we require users of Kinzen to sign up and agree to cookie and personal data usage policies we will use and store only data required to provide the service to our users. We do not display personally identifiable data of non-users as we are not a social network. Our community consists solely of signed up users who have consented to our usage of their data.

Our brand of personalisation

Kinzen rejects the creepy system of personalisation that defines so many other news apps and aggregators. We do not use your browsing history to keep you addicted to the same sources and opinions. We don’t rank the importance of stories on the basis of what your social network is thinking. Instead, our machine learning systems respond to your conscious feedback to the articles you see in your chosen channels. After your read a recommended story you will be prompted to offer feedback, using Kinzen’s uniquely purpose-driven ranking system. We want to help you move out of a world of hearts, claps and likes and instead offer more sophisticated signals as to the quality of the news you consume and share.

Our Business Model

The world has had enough of a business model for information dependent on advertising. Kinzen wants to help liberate news seekers from manipulation, distraction and endless scroll. Kinzen is a mission-driven business. Kinzen will not depend on advertising. We will create a sustainable business through products and services which members pay for directly, and through revenue sharing with publisher and developer partners. Where possible, we will develop open source protocols and data sets which will help sustain a wider ecosystem of developers, researchers and publishers. From January 2019, when Kinzen is in the app store, there will be a monthly fee to access core membership features.

Our Commitment to Journalism

Kinzen’s core operational principle is to build trust through unconditional loyalty to the interests of our members. We make no promise to save the news industry. However, we can play a significant role in supporting quality journalism by developing deeper bonds between engaged citizens and the publishers who reward their trust and attention.

Kinzen will build revenue-generating partnerships with publishers who want to break their dependence on social platforms and advertising revenue. Kinzen will develop a version of its core product for publishers. This will be offered as a ‘plug in’ for partner websites and that delivers a personalised content feed tailor-made for the user’s daily commute.

Our Funding

Kinzen is funded by a small group of private investors from Ireland, and an investment from the Civil Media Company, a decentralised network of newsrooms based on the blockchain, and Enterprise Ireland, the Irish state-funded innovation agency. Kinzen has received a grant from the Google-backed Digital News Initiative to build a publisher solution. It has received no venture capital funding.

Our founders

Kinzen was founded by Áine Kerr, Mark Little and Paul Watson. They first worked together at Storyful, which Mark founded. Storyful was the first social media news agency and an early pioneer of the battle against misinformation. Áine went on to become the Global Head of Journalism Partnerships for Facebook, based in New York. Mark went on to work with Twitter, as Vice President of Media Partnerships in Europe, and Managing Director of Twitter’s international headquarters in Dublin. Together with Paul, Áine and Mark founded NevaLabs in October 2017. The company was renamed Kinzen in October 2018. Mark is Kinzen’s CEO, Áine is the company’s COO and Paul is the CTO.

Our team

Kinzen was developed by a team of journalists, developers, researchers and designers. The company’s HQ is in Dublin. Our Product Manager, and Head of Design and Research, is Eilis Boyle. The editorial side of the house is led by another Storyful veteran Shane Creevy. Andrew McDowell is our Machine Learning Engineer. Rú Hickson is our Data Engineer. Hannah Lennon is our User-Experience Researcher. Ian Goode is our UI Designer and Mohammed Ali is our Mobile Developer.

Kinzen’s publisher strategy is being shaped by Colin Doody, a former GM of Strategic Initiatives at Outbrain and Senior Business Development Manager at the Wall Street Journal.

Kinzen’s scientific adviser is Barry Smyth, a successful entrepreneur and leading authority on artificial intelligence. Barry is Director of the Insight Centre for Data Analytics at UCD.

Our testers

The foundation of the Kinzen community is a personal app that empowers its users with a daily news experience that earns their trust. As a member of the Kinzen tester group, we will ask you to take the app for a trial run in mid-November and take a number of surveys sent by our research team. Active involvement in this test will give you status as a first member of Kinzen and six months free service of the app when it is launched in January 2019.

Our curators

Kinzen’s editorial team is seeking help from curators in building and enhancing the comprehensive directory of credible and relevant sources provided to users of the Kinzen app. We have created a discussion forum for people who are interested in designing the curation network, and/or becoming curators around specific topics and locations within the source directory. Active involvement in this forum will give you status as a first member of Kinzen and six months free service of the app when it is launched in January 2019.

Our patrons

Kinzen is seeking a financial contribution from individuals who are committed to our vision of a purpose-driven news community. Every contribution of $/€30 or more will unlock free access to Kinzen’s subscription services for six months after launch in January 2019. These pre-launch contributions will help maintain Kinzen’s independent course as we test a mission-driven business model. Kinzen’s founders commit to monthly communication with our patrons and transparency around the development of our commercial, financial and funding strategy.

We’re building the daily news experience that you control.

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