Innovation That Matters

iPad app turns social content into personalized digital mag

Publishing & Media

There may now be myriad ways to take online content and repackage it attractively for offline presentation, such as through the News from YOUs Facebook application. Those reading online, however, are typically still stuck with the same, dispersed set of online feeds they always have been. Flipboard is a new iPad app that aims to integrate and spruce up all those tweets and updates in a single, personalized online magazine. Just launched this week, Flipboard for iPad bills itself as “a social magazine that brings to life the stories, photos, news and updates being shared across Twitter and Facebook.” The free app automatically creates a magazine from the user’s social content. Sections devoted to Facebook and Twitter, for example, let readers quickly flip through the latest stories, photos and updates from friends and trusted sources. Links and images are rendered right in the digital magazine, so users no longer have to scan long lists of posts and click on link after link; instead, they instantly see all the stories, comments and images in one place. Flipboard also lets readers easily create sections around topics or people they care about. Suggested sections include sports, news, tech and style, all featuring content hand-curated from popular and interesting Twitter feeds; alternatively, users can create their own. Ultimately, material from sites including Flickr, Foursquare and Yelp will also be included, according to a report in the New York Times. Mike McCue, Flipboardʼs CEO, explains: “With over one billion messages posted every day, social networks are quickly becoming the primary way people discover and share content on the Web. The result is a huge influx of incoming messages and links people must sort through across multiple web sites just to stay up to date. We believe the timeless principles of print can make social media less noisy, more visually compelling and ultimately more mainstream.” California-based Flipboard just acquired semantic analysis company Ellerdale, with an eye toward helping future versions of Flipboard extract, categorize and feature highly relevant and hot trending content from across a variety of social networks, it says. Eventually, it aims to accept advertising and to charge for certain content, the NYT reported. App-minded entrepreneurs: one to get involved in… or emulate with an offering of your own? Spotted by: nytimes



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