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.[more]
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?