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NowThisNews debuts its iOS app, aims to reinvent news for mobile-social generation

Just in time for election day, NowThisNews rolled out its iPhone and iPad app featuring short, shareable mobile videos aimed at the Buzzfeed-friendly crowd. The idea is to make news video viral — not the standard fare of sliding cars, burning houses and plummeting planes — but by making contemporary issues fun to watch and share on your mobile device.

The opening clip this morning was “The United States That Matter (On Tuesday),” a two-minute breakdown of electoral scenarios using license plates from each state and a whiteboard. Another video packed sixty years of campaign ads in one clip, and another carried the scintillating headline, “The Pothead’s Guide to Election Day.”

Each clip carries prominent sharing features, and when one ends, you’re encouraged — ever so slightly — to share it with your friends:

The app is very straightforward and aimed at making it drop-dead easy to watch clips spanning top stories, politics, tech and fun stuff like “This is the World’s Largest Gathering of Dogs and Cats.” If it reminds you of a video Buzzfeed, then it shouldn’t be a surprise that NowThisNews and Buzzfeed have already been collaborating: video clips have been embedded on Buzzfeed along with promos for the NowThisNews app. Like an increasing number of mobile-first startups, you won’t find the clips on NowThisNews.com.

As we reported before, the NowThisNews startup is star-studded: Ken Lerer (co-founder HuffPo), Eason Jordan (former CNN news chief), Katharine Zaleski (former WaPo digital news chief) and Ed O’Keefe (former ABC News Digital EP). “We’re creating NowThis News to meet straight on the inevitable and rapid changes happening in news consumption: digital, mobile, social and video – that’s what NowThis News is about,” Lerer said when it launched.

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