The popular news reading app Pulse has received a major update and has gone more social with it. Going beyond just news services, the app will integrate personalised social feeds from sites like YouTube, Tumblr, Flickr, Facebook and Instagram.

Pulse co-founder Akshay Kothari spoke to TechCrunch and said that this was supposed to be Pulse’s first real foray into social feeds. Pulse earlier offered cumulative top social feeds from Instagram, YouTube, Readability and even Reddit but this was the first time the company has tried to personalise feeds to draw in users further.

With this update, users with Pulse on their iOS and Android devices will now be able to simply sign-in to their Flickr, YouTube, Instagram, Tumblr and Facebook accounts to create a one-stop destination to see content from all their social networking websites along with the news. The content will be formatted and new story views for images and videos will make Pulse a more personal experience.

The new Pulse

The new Pulse

Kothari says Pulse was launched two years ago for the iPad in order to eliminate the need for users to go to multiple platforms in order to see all their content. Pulse provided a platform where the users could see news in one place. In August last year, Pulse expanded its services to the web too, in order to aid discovery of interesting content. Pulse on the web now has a dynamic design that makes optimum use of the large desktop screen. The web version aided the sync function so that users could have a personalised experience on all devices they accessed the service from.

Even though Pulse has added the social function to the app, it still has not added features like share, comment and like to it; not yet, at least. Pulse has also redesigned the entire interface of the app to make images the centre of app’s universe and has aimed to remove the clutter around it.

Interestingly, Twitter seems to be the one social feed conspicuously missing from Pulse’s list. Kothari enlists two reasons for Twitter’s absence. The major reason, he says is that Twitter is text heavy while Pulse is trying to keep the app image centric. Secondly, Kothari is worried that Twitter will continue making changes to its API, making Twitter and Pulse’s integration a short-lived one.

Pulse seems to be running neck-in-neck with rival Flipboard to lure in more users. Flipboard earlier this week updated its app to incorporate the Android Jelly Bean Daydream feature to turn their screensavers into Flipboard generated covers. Until now, Flipboard’s signature covers were available only on the tablet edition. Users can now stay up to date with customised news through covers that become part of a screensaver that automatically updates with fresh stories.

You can install Pulse for Android and iOS by clicking on the links mentioned. After you have updated the app, you can activate the social feeds by tapping on the ‘Add Content’ button on the bottom of the left navigation bar, swipe to Social or What’s New and tap the icon to add your feed to a page.

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