I learned about this yesterday afternoon before leaving for the day, but it still came as a bit of a shock to open Circa News on my phone just now and see it as the featured story.
A blog post went up on Medium yesterday entitled “Farewell to Circa News”, which is where I first learned the news and I’d like to quote it in full here for all of you.
It’s with great disappointment that we let you know that Circa News has been put on indefinite hiatus*. Producing high-quality news can be a costly endeavor and without the capital necessary to support further production we are unable to continue. Our mission was always to create a news company where factual, unbiased, and succinct information could be found. In doing so we recognized that building a revenue stream for such a mission would take some time and chose to rely on venture capital to sustain. We have now reached a point where we’re no longer able to continue news production as-is.
Our ongoing plan was to monetize Circa News through the building of a strategy we had spent a long time developing but unfortunately we were unable to close a significant investment prior to becoming resource constrained. We could have compromised and included off-the-shelf advertisements or charged a subscription for the product but we never felt like any of the simplest solutions would pair well with the high-quality experience we wished to achieve, or even bring in enough to make a difference.
It’s with a deep sadness that we find ourselves in this position. We’re well aware that many of the concepts that Circa News introduced to the market are being found in a number of other news outlets, though sincerely we hope that those ideas which we pioneered continue to be an inspiration for others. While we’re incredibly proud of the product that we built, the quality of the news that we were able to report, and the audience that chose to make Circa News its news outlet of choice, we’re upset that we may be letting people down. As a company, we’re still working through an opportunity to keep the technology and spirit of Circa alive.
Some members of our team have already moved on to other opportunities and we couldn’t be happier for them — however we do still have a number of wonderful journalists that are dedicated to their craft, looking for an opportunity to continue informing the world. If you or someone you may know is looking for fantastic writers to join your team, please get in touch with Circa’s Editor-in-Chief Anthony De Rosa. Go here for a complete set of bios on everyone that we’re hoping to find a great home for.
Circa will remain in our hearts for a very long time to come. It was something that was a labor of love for the nearly three years of its existence (four in concept) and in that time we never tired of the task at hand. The praise from our readers, intrigue from the industry, and encouragement from our investors, advisors, friends, and family kept us pushing forward when others felt we may fail. Indeed, though a failure to build a business out of the product we created is now our fate there is still so much to look at and consider a success. In a short period of time, we pioneered the use of atomized content to deliver news, ushered in a wholly new way of staying in touch with news stories over time through our story follow-ability, and proved that a small, scrappy team could go toe-to-toe with the news giants, if even for a modest audience.
Finally, we’d like to thank any and all of those who may have contributed and played a part in our story — big and small alike. We hope that someday someone may finish the story that we started, succeed where we may have faltered, and that a news experience built for the future and not burdened by the past will have a shot.
Thank you, Matt Galligan, Circa Co-founder
I’m not going to lie, I find this quite saddening. It goes without saying that I’m not really big on news, outside anything geeky or tech related I just don’t care for the news. Not what you see on TV or read in the papers or any of it. Too much is sensationalized, far too much that should be reported on isn’t, and so on and so forth.
So it was a breath of fresh air when Circa News first hit the Play Store and caught my attention. It was the news as it should be. “Just the facts.” Summaries written by actual people of the latest news around the world and across various interests and all that. It made the news actually worthwhile again, to me at least. I could fire up the app and catch up in minutes on anything and everything happening around the world, free from all the things I hate in general about news reporting nowadays.
The fact that the app was free and that no subscription was required to enjoy the service and news in such a way always blew my mind. I never thought anything of it until yesterday and a part of me now truly wishes I had. I’d have written in and asked if I could donate a few bucks or inquired as to a subscription or if there were plans to monetize the service in any way. That should not come as a surprise to any of you, I’ve made clear time and time again how I feel about rewarding good developers and others. If they make something worthwhile then we should give them some cash for their efforts.
I guess we’ll have to see what happens next. “Indefinite hiatus” does not bode well though. I have the feeling we won’t be seeing Circa rise from the ashes in some form or another. However, and this is me really hoping against the odds here, maybe they’ll license their “product” to someone else. Then again maybe they won’t.
I don’t have much else to say on the subject. I honestly have no words to share for the passing of an amazing service, instead I’ll let Walter Sobchak do the speaking for me. Just replace “Donny” with “Circa News” and you’ll have everything I’m sure some of you are thinking about this news.
And to end on a lighter note...
So now that Circa is gone I’ll default back to maybe checking the BBC app once in awhile. Titus had some great things to say about them in his Neverlution special a few years back, which made me crack up because it’s true enough as far as I’m concerned.
Actually, no. Not quite done here. I’m curious, where do the rest of you get your news from? Was it Circa? Is it the BBC app? Something else? Feel free to share and explain why you get your news from a given app or source?
Slightly related, Medium has released their app into the Play Store.
When I wasn’t getting my news from Circa I was getting it from Medium in some form or another, even if it was from the stuff shared on The Nib (which does “news” in drawn form) and which I always found to be hilarious and a refreshing chance of pace as opposed to reading a piece on something.
The app itself looks surprisingly good and I’d long inquired and wondered when they’d release an actual app into the Play Store. Looks like the wait was worth it.
Anyway, share on if you have a news app worth checking out. I’ll give it a look, since it looks like I’m an app down now.