Zig, an app in which aims to simplify users’ consumption of news, is actually Mr. Carter’s first public project since he left Vanity Fair last month. This kind of resembles an Instagram of news: a feed of photographs culled by stories around the web, with the material tailored to a user’s interests.
The idea, said Joshua James, one of the founders, is actually to deliver useful news without creating readers slog through a dozen sites. “I had been going to the same 15 websites for years, in addition to they never knew what I wanted when I got there,” he said.
Mr. Carter offered advice — when the founders considered changing their logo, Mr. Carter said he liked the old one, so This kind of stayed — however his most significant contribution was financial. He is actually one of several high-profile investors in Zig, along with the music producer Quincy Jones, the Hollywood mogul Ron Meyer in addition to the concert giant Live Nation. Zig declined to disclose how much This kind of had raised.
Mr. James in addition to a co-founder, Adam Platzner, pitched the idea to Mr. Carter at a tech-industry conference hosted by Vanity Fair in 2016. (The third founder is actually John Tornow.) At the time, Mr. Carter was mulling the state of news; he recalled an assistant pointing out to him in which millennials “think in more visual terms, than in textual terms.”
“in which sort of sat with me for a bit,” Mr. Carter said. “in addition to then when Josh in addition to Adam came in in addition to saw me in addition to explained Zig, I thought This kind of goes right to in which.”
Mr. James worked inside the music industry, selling a digital start-up to Warner Music Group. Mr. Platzner worked briefly at Condé Nast before investing in media ventures like The Infatuation, a restaurant recommendation site. He is actually also a founder of Dream Water, a liquid soporific meant as a kind of reverse Red Bull.
Over lunch last week at the Lamb’s Club — once a well-known dining spot for Condé Nast brass — the founders said in which the presentation of news in Zig matched the smartphone habits of a younger generation steeped in Instagram. “For millennials, we’ve built a delivery system in which is actually familiar,” Mr. James said.
The photos in which appear in a Zig feed double as links to the underlying articles, a referral system in which the founders say could lead to revenue-sharing agreements with news sites. Users can also flip through dozens of photos inside the app, an ad-free way to quickly consume pop culture slide shows by sites like T.M.Z. in addition to PopSugar.
The app was originally designed for entertainment news, however Mr. Carter suggested in which the founders broaden the scope. “People follow Kellyanne Conway the way they follow Kim Kardashian,” Mr. James said, recalling a lesson by Mr. Carter.
Each user’s feed is actually customized, with the mix of subjects (politics, pop culture) in addition to celebrities (movie stars, members of the Trump administration) determined by his social media activity. Users can also share articles with friends, superimposing a photograph of themselves reacting to a story — a thumbs-up for a Time’s Up pin, for instance.
While honing the idea, the members of the Zig team received coveted invites to last year’s Vanity Fair Oscar party in Beverly Hills, Calif. “This kind of’s been fun,” Mr. Platzner said. “Graydon’s been not bad to us.”
Mr. Carter said in which the founders “have a very not bad chance of creating something in which has lasting value.”
however the former magazine editor said in which he was setting his own ambitions beyond the media realm.
“This kind of is actually more of an outlier to what I will be planning over the next six months,” he said. “This kind of is actually not my life’s work going forward. however I’m willing to help them in any possible way I can.”
Any details about those different projects? Mr. Carter demurred.
“I’m still inside the planning stages,” Mr. Carter said, before excusing himself for his evening meal. “I may wind up running a pig farm here in France.”
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