Pushing Users Outside Their Comfort Zone

The founder of Vubble explains how her app aims to broaden users' horizons

Written by As told to Murad Hemmadi

Tessa Sproule left the CBC in August 2014 after 20 years to found Vubble. The app, which launches in January, will provide a stream of on-demand short-form video customized to users’ preferences, plus content they would not ordinarily come across. She explains why Vubble will push its users outside their comfort zone.

Photo: Thomas Dagg

“Your Facebook feed is very personalized and very much driven by the things you’ve interacted with online. That can make you quite myopic in your view of the world—you don’t see things that might challenge your point of view, because Facebook’s algorithm knows not to show them to you.

“Media has to make citizens wiser, not just inform them. We’ve never had more information than we have right now, but we need more context, more human curation in the media experience so we can become more empathetic about the varying opinions around us.

“The concept behind our Vubble app is to reinvent the way we access content on the web. Users get a feed of video that is similar to stuff they’ve previously engaged with but also pushes things at them that are slightly outside their comfort zones.

“As citizens living in a democracy, we need to understand many contrary points of view for society to progress. I sound very Pollyannaish and naive when I talk like this, but we want to reimagine how media functions in an on-demand society in a way that’s altruistic and enables social progress.”


This article is from the PROFIT section of the January 2015 issue of Canadian Business. Subscribe now!

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