A map-based news sharing platform could be the future of local news and citizen reportage, with a new open-network app called Snewpit entering the scene.
Established with the goal of making it easier for everyday people to both discover and report the news most relevant to them, Snewpit’s initial budget version of the app received 20,000 downloads in the first four months, leading to a major update of the platform in April 2019.
Snewpit founder Charlie Khoury sees the app as the next step in news reporting, particularly as technology continues to transform the world and the way people communicate.
“I had the idea for Snewpit one day when I was running late for a meeting because of a local incident,” he said.
“It was something small enough to not have news and media airtime, but big enough to cause travel chaos.”
“I looked for it on social media and search engines but there was nothing. It took three days for the incident to actually be reported and at that point I knew I had to create a platform that allowed the people who witnessed news first-hand to report it,” he explained.
From there, Snewpit was born: a location-based app with newsworthy events pinned to a map.
The purpose of Snewpit was a simple one for Charlie.
“We wanted to create an easier way for people to discover and report the news, with the ultimate goal being to create the world’s largest and most trusted news-sharing platform,” he said.
Key to this was the ability to report news by the people, for the people, without typical social media limitations—anyone in the world can share news with anyone else in the world.
“We don’t have groups or friend requests… Snewpit was built to connect people based on their location,” said Charlie.
“In this way, if you’re witnessing an incident like a car crash, you can let those around you know, for the benefit of the community.”
He added that Snewpit users shared a common interest in staying informed about what’s happening in their community and neighbourhood, or in the neighbourhoods of their loved ones.
Aside from an open network, Charlie believes Snewpit can also benefit people by allowing them to instantly find out what’s happening around them from other citizen journalists.
“Snewpit is the quickest way to deliver the news without waiting for it to trickle down through existing media or platforms,” said Charlie.
“Just think about the things you’d want to know about, based on your location—that’s how Snewpit can be used!”
Whether it’s a new restaurant opening in your suburb, a burglary down the street, local sporting or community news, or even a power outage, you can instantly find out what’s happening in your area from other local users you wouldn’t otherwise hear from.