Random (software)

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Random App Logo.png
Developer(s) Random
Initial release 2014
Platform iOS
Type Predictive discovery, finding new interesting things online
License Freeware
Website random.co

Random is an iOS mobile app that uses algorithms and human-curation to create an adaptive interface to the Internet. The app serves a remix of relevance and serendipity that allows people to find diverse topics and interesting content that they might not encounter otherwise.[1][2][3][4][5][6]

Random does not require a login or sign-up - the use of the app is anonymous. The app is powered by an artificial intelligence that learns from direct and indirect user interactions inside the app.[7] While learning and adapting to a person Random creates a unique anonymous choice profile that is then used for recommending topics and content. The app doesn't recommend the same content twice.[8]

User interface[edit]

Random's user interface is made of ever-changing topic blocks that contain keywords and images. By choosing any of the blocks the user will see related web content. By closing the web content the user can access new related topics. The user interface allows people to get more information about a specific topic area or then just leap freely from topic to topic. The content recommended by Random can be any type of web content varying from news articles to long-form stories and from photographs to videos. Every user of the Random is curating content for other users by using the app.[9][10]


Random was launched in March 2014. The startup is backed by Skype co-founder Janus Friis .[11][12][13][14]

The Random app received a strong reception from the likes of the New York Times, Techcruch, New Scientist, Vice, and other leading publications. The app went on to gain traction with an active and loyal user community of several hundreds of thousands. This was not enough to support the free app model the team strongly believed in, and the service was terminated in Dec 2015.[15]


Various reviews in media have emphasized that Random enables people to break their filter bubble and find diverse content they might not find elsewhere.

Alan Henry of Lifehacker wrote: "Random... breaks you out by intentionally guiding you to new topics and interesting articles at sites you may not otherwise read."[16] Vice Motherboard's Claire Evans says that: "Random never turns into a filter bubble, because it perpetually injects the irrational into my experience… in a cocktail of relevancy and serendipity."[2]

The app has been said to have a unique minimalistic user experience. Kit Eaton of New York Times commented that Random "let's you browse the news in a different way to all the other news sites you've probably ever used."[1] Mashable reviewed Random by concluding that the "app may be one of the most simple content-discovery apps on the market."[4]


  1. ^ a b "App Smart | The Random and Serendipitous - Video". The New York Times. 40.755978;-73.990396. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  2. ^ a b "UnFacebooking, Randomizing, and Other Ways to Burst the Filter Bubble - Motherboard". Motherboard.vice.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  3. ^ "Futureful, The Janus Friis-Backed AI Predictive Discovery Engine, Rebrands As Random". TechCrunch. 2014-04-04. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  4. ^ a b Karissa Bell (2014-03-29). "5 Can't-Miss Apps: Timehop for Android and More". Mashable.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  5. ^ Amanda Connolly. "Random for iOS Aims to Shake up the Way You View News". Thenextweb.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  6. ^ Meyer, David (2014-04-04). "Why Random is developing an irrational browsing experience". Gigaom.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  7. ^ Hyde, Olin (2011-04-20). "One Per Cent: The search engine that can predict what you want". Newscientist.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  8. ^ "The Long Apprenticeship of Roman Coppola". Fastcoexist.com. 2013-03-08. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  9. ^ "Random for iOS lets you explore the web in a unique way". Tuaw.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-07-12. Retrieved 2014-11-24. 
  11. ^ Lazzaro, Sage. "Business | Channels | Observer". Betabeat.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  12. ^ "The Futureful Team Releases Random On Ios". Arcticstartup. 2014-03-27. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  13. ^ Tom Cheredar (2014-03-27). "Run out of Internet to read? Random's new iOS app is for you | VentureBeat | Media | by Tom Cheredar". VentureBeat. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  14. ^ "Random news reader breaks filter bubbles". Psfk.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  15. ^ "Random - Home". Facebook. Retrieved 2017-07-26. 
  16. ^ Alan Henry. "Random Is a News Reader that Forces You Out of Your Filter Bubble". Lifehacker.com. Retrieved 2017-07-26.