CNN gets more personal, buys iPad magazine Zite

CNN, a cable news channel owned by Time Warner Inc, has no plans to change Zite’s format, said KC Estenson, general manager of CNN’s digital division.

“This is a product that people love,” Estenson said. “It just needs to be in the hands of more people.”

Zite delivers different editions to different readers based on their individual interests. After downloading Zite’s free iPad application, readers can specify certain topics they want to read about, such as stories about the Pittsburgh Steelers or Lady Gaga. The magazine is programmed to learn more about readers over time, based on the kinds of stories that they tend to click on.

The same technology may be used to help CNN customise its news on the iPad and other mobile devices, Estenson said. Financial terms of the deal announced yesterday weren’t disclosed.

Zite, which is based in San Francisco, started a specialty search engine called Worio six years ago. Drawing upon some of Worio’s research, Zite unveiled its magazine for the iPad in March. It had 125,000 downloads in the first week; the company would not provide a more recent number.



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