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UCNews from Alibaba Mobile Business Group plans to leverage on big data to give customised content to its users in India

Diksha Gupta, TechGig.com

UCWeb aspires to change the way content is consumed in India. The Alibaba Mobile Business Group has launched a news app called UCNews that leverages on big data to give customised content to its users in India. The app is exclusively developed for the Indian market and consumers.

The company is positioning the app as a one-stop source for trending and curated news. UCNews covers almost all the categories ranging from sports, technology, politics and entertainment.

Commenting on how UCNews is different from the other news aggregators, Kenny Ye, general manager, UCWeb, Alibaba Mobile Business group, said, "UCNews is different from others because we are WAP first and not app first. We use the browser as a platform to actually initiate the traffic that is coming to the product. We have 58 per cent of market share, which means there are so many people who understand UCBrowser and if they get their kind of content to consume on UCBrowser, it enhances their overall experience. UCNews is not just restricted to news content only. It will also have content from bloggers, who may have a different perspective on an event like a football match or a political debate. We will have publishers, bloggers and even individual publishers on our platform. That is why we call ourselves different."

UCNews targets a young audience of 18-25 years. The platform allows customisation to the last level. So, if someone wants content only from a particular media organisation, he/she would get content only from these organisations.

How big data works for UCNews

This big-data based platform tracks the trending keywords on Facebook and Twitter and decides the trending topics basis that. The newly launched app allows customisation of content, allowing the users to choose any kind of content that they wish to consume.
Commenting on integrating big data analytics on the platform, Kenny said, "Our developers take out all the raw data and segregate into different categories and derive intelligence basis that to understand what is the kind of demand that a consumer may have with respect to content."

UCBrowser has about 2,500-3,000 people working just in R&D across the globe. However, the company has no plans to set up an R&D unit in India. "We see ourselves growing as a content company in India," Kenny said.

The company has plans to join hands with self-publishers and key opinion leaders for original content. UCBrowser has an active user base of 80 million consumers in India.

According to StatCounter, it is the most used mobile browser in the country with over 58 per cent of the market share as of May 2016.

diksha.gupta@timesgroup.com