Always Fresh Fiction

4 minutes

Chronicle is an app for discovering new fiction on your time. We want to help you find great fiction, and we want you to be able to read content free from ads, clickbait, and sponsored content. There is no place our values are better embodied than the always free, always fresh frontpage. In this post, I'll go into a little more detail on how the frontpage—and with it Chronicle itself—came to be.

Always free

The frontpage is Chronicle's original feature. When the app started there wasn't much more than a list of stories you could read—we didn't even have a way to refresh them! Since day one, we knew we wanted to create an ethical business model for the modern day. We don't sell your information, we don't serve ads, and we don't serve sponsored content. Chronicle is a safe space for you to open your mind to new ideas.

Even though we have this more principled way to pay for content, we want to enable everyone to read great fiction for free. The frontpage is the perfect compromise: always free, always fresh. There are a select number of stories that rotate weekly, and those stories are the same great content you get through the rest of our app. If you are able to pay, you get more through Playlists and Minutes. 

Always fresh

Chronicle is a new way to discover stories, and a big part of our format is how dynamic it is. With no conventional industry to worry about, authors can get their stories to you faster than anywhere else, and the frontpage is the epitome of that. The frontpage has a new story every week, and provides a hand-picked entry point into a whole world of fiction.

Stories on the frontpage don't last forever, and that's always been the goal. We want this space to always have something new. If you miss one, that's alright: a new story is coming the next Monday. You'll never be short of things to read, and because stories don't last forever, you don't have the never-ending email inbox of stories to sort through.

The frontpage is about editors over algorithms. We hand-pick stories each week to ensure you get a wide range of viewpoints. You won't fall into one of the Internet's echo chambers with Chronicle. Instead, you'll get someone else's point of view. We don't have any essays, news, or opinions, which means you're going to get other's viewpoints and interpret them for yourself.

A recent addition to the frontpage is notes from our editor on the latest story. This lets us give you a little background on what you're going to read, and we hope as a result you get a little more out of it. Also, from a design perspective, it lets us give more visual space to the latest story, emphasizing the new stuff you'll find while reading our app.

New authors, new perspectives

While Chronicle has it's share of published, bigger-name authors, it's also a place for anyone to tell their story. We have a lot of stories from new writers and people who have never shared their stories before. The frontpage is our authors' first entry point into Chronicle: most of the time, their story comes out on the frontpage first. From there, we select exceptional authors to share more with you through Playlists. 

You can find stories from authors around the world on Chronicle, and although all of our stories are in English, you're going to see a wide range of perspectives. The frontpage is hand-picked by our editors to cover a wide range of topics from an even wider range of viewpoints. You'll get a balanced point of view from our app, and you'll learn something new by reading great literature from all walks of life.

On your time

Chronicle is all about fiction that fits the modern schedule. We believe that stories can be both short and substantial, and that if you can read on your time, you'll read more. The frontpage is all about these values. It's a short enough list that it takes no time at all to browse. Each story is color-coded by length, and tells you three words about itself. Plus, the stories are curated so you always have a good read.

When we created Chronicle, we decided very early on what type of content we wanted to offer. We set a limit of how long stories could be—5 minutes—and emphasized the value of stories that are shorter than that. We're strong believers in less is more, and that short stories are not small ones. You're going to have a great read on Chronicle, and you'll probably start out on the frontpage.