NY Times partners with Betaworks on social news service

The New York Times is teaming up with technology incubator Betaworks to create a personalized news service called News.me.

"We're building something wonderful and amazing in the social news space," John Borthwick, chief executive of Betaworks, told the newspaper.

Betaworks companies include TweetDeck, a popular program for using Twitter, and Bit.ly, a tool for shortening Web addresses or URLs.

Borthwick told the Times that the News.me product is expected to be launched later this year, initially as an application for Apple's iPad. He said a Web version may be introduced later.

Michael Zimbalist, the Times Co. vice president of research and development, said the company had been monitoring trends on the Web and in social media but declined to provide any details about the project to the newspaper.

"We're abstracting from that a vision of how social sharing and the real-time Web are going to influence the news consumption experience," Zimbalist said.

"We decided to develop a prototype that we thought was illustrative of where the world was heading," he added.

A number of US news organizations including The New York Times, have already developed applications for the iPad.

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