Personalizing news seems to be the new trend now in Indonesia's online media landscape. After Kompas.com recently released its K-Report, Salingsilang Media, a well known digital media company group in Indonesia, yesterday announced the launch of #beritagar (yes, with a hashtag and no capital) on its official blog. The mobile app, developed by Salingsilang Media in collaboration with 7Langit, is now available on Google Play.
The app’s name itself, Beritagar, is a portmanteau of the two Indonesian words "berita" (meaning "news") and "tagar" (meaning "hashtag"). With Beritagar, mobile users can follow their favorite news topics which are indicated by certain hashtags. Users can also add comments to the articles, upload pics, and rate articles. And to make things more interactive, users can get badges based on their activities.
Regrettably, users can not contribute news to the app for the time being. This feature is, in my opinion, what I like the most from the afore-mentioned K-Report and could have been a great addition to Beritagar. Although Salingsilang has more than enough communities connected to its Salingsilang Network to generate topics in this app. Communities such as Akademi Berbagi ("sharing academy"), Indonesia Berkebun ("Indonesia gardening"), Bike to Work, or Politkana would have no trouble providing content for Beritagar.
Salingsilang stated that although currently this app is only available for Android devices, in future it will be made available for Blackberry, iOS, and Windows Phone users as well. For those on feature phones, who apparently still hold the bigger share of Indonesia's mobile users, Salingsilang is also working on perfecting a Beritagar mobile web version.