Posted by Sheila Shayon on July 22, 2010 11:30 AM
Flipboard is a revolutionary iPad app for social news: "your own digital magazine" or even a personal newsstand. It turns Twitter and Facebook accounts into magazine look-alikes. It builds custom magazines from pre-built curated “boards,” or imported Twitter lists. And it works in reverse — a brand’s Twitter account can be flipped to… a Flipboard.
It’s being touted as revolutionary, a killer app and disruptive to media publishers of news, news aggregators, and Twitter client producers.
According to Business Insider, it’s the design elements that make the difference.
Touch an article and it zooms to show more; touch a video and it plays inline; touch to share, favorite, like, or retweet; rotate your iPad and everything goes from horizontal to vertical; touch “read more on the web” and you’re instantly taken to the original site; import Facebook friends and all their content is attractively displayed.
CEO Mike McCue has a solid track record, having sold ‘TellMe’ to Microsoft for around $800 million dollars. Kleiner Perkins just announced a second round of funding, and Flipboard just acquired the Ellerdale Project, a developer of algorithms via semantic technology filtering real-time streams by topic. They also bring a wealth of trending and noise reduction features to the table — make that the board.
Other VC backers include some Silicon Valley heavyweights: Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, Google investor Ron Conway, Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, Peter Chernin, Alfred Lin, Peter Currie, Quincy Smith, actor/entrepreneur Ashton Kutcher, and Index Ventures.
The business model has not been disclosed, but McCue has indicated new, ‘design-centric’ ads that could fill whole pages.
Flipboard is focused on sell-in to consumers and refining the product first, but ‘social advertising’ and revenues from premium media subscriptions are on the horizon. "We thought the idea of a social magazine would be an incredible thing," said McCue.
Personalized, socialized digital magazines…is this the future in mobile browsing?