January 23, 2014
When the Washington Post was sold to Jeff Bezos, Wa Po Labs stayed behind. The once research and development arm of The Washington Post now operates under the banner of The Graham Holdings Company, and today they released their reinvented product Trove.
This iPad and iPhone app launched alongside a redesigned website is the immediate successor to the Washington Post Social Reader Project released for Facebook in November 2011. But when Facebook changed their news feed, diminishing the visibility of the Social Reader, the team decided they didn’t want to abandon their 30 million users.
Under the leadership of Vijay Ravindran, Trove was designed to once again establish a presence in the social news reading market. Over the past few years, the team has been working on personalization technology, news aggregation, and integrating news products with social networks; the release has prompted a strong, positive response.
“The press coverage, as well as the conversations about Trove, has been flattering, but we still ask: do we have a compelling experience that lasts through the initial surge?” says Vijay. “We think we do; we have a strong news consumption experience that cuts through a lot of the noise.”
One of the most interesting parts of this journey has been relatively quiet: the pivot. It can be easy to overlook the fact that Wa Po Labs consisted of a team that only knew research and development for a larger company.
The pivot took them to the realm of product development with a business enterprise, and Ravindran knows how important that pivot was not only for the initial release, but also for the future. Any pivot has the potential to sink or reinvent a company, and it’s evident that Trove has no plans of sinking any time soon.
The team will be held in the spotlight as they work to build a strong user base and a more vibrant community, and that will only bring more attention as they push forward. Tech Cocktail is proud to call itself a syndication partner with Trove, and we’re excited to see what comes next for them.
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