WAN-IFRA

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Date

Fri - 25.07.2014


Social news in your pocket: Flipboard for iPhone

Social news in your pocket: Flipboard for iPhone

This is a big week for Flipboard. After launching in China on Monday, today the social news reader app has finally released a version for the iPhone.

The new iPhone app does just what Flipboard on the iPad did; collect stories from social media accounts as well as other sources and present them to readers in a visually pleasing format.

But there are significant differences. For one thing, the iPhone app works by swiping up and down, rather than the old format of turning pages from right to left. More importantly, the phone app introduces "cover stories". This new section learns from your interaction with content so that it can deliver stories that are most interesting and relevant to you.

The differences are part of a drive to distinguish between the lean-back platform of the iPad, which most people use before bed, and the lean-forward platform of the iPhone, which users are more likely to access on the go or standing in queues.

In a video interview with All Things D. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue stressed that the company had worked hard to create something that was "not just a shrunken-down version of Flipboard on the iPad for the phone."

"We wanted to make something that was truly designed around both the form factor of the phone and also the use case," he stated.

The new app has been greeted enthusiastically by tech writers. "It's the kind of thing you'll want to show off to friends," writes Katherine Boehret at All Things D. VentureBeat calls it "sleek" and GigaOm thinks it's "slick".

The launch is part of a series of recent updates for Flipboard. One of the most significant to date has been the addition of user accounts, so that members of households that share one iPad can all log onto Flipboard separately and save their own preferences and account information.

Flipboard is also expanding its international presence, as it launched in China on Monday in partnership with Sina, the country's largest internet portal, and Renren, one of China's biggest social networks.

The company is obviously thinking big: McCue told All Things D that Flipboard chose to expand into the Chinese market because China has the second largest amount of app store downloads in the world.

Still, the expansion isn't happening everywhere at once; Flipboard hasn't released any apps for Android yet.

It seems that the company is carefully planning where to invest its resources, as more and more potential Flipboard competitors appear on the field: Livestand from Yahoo, Zite, and Editions from AOL. Google is also supposed to be working on a social news reader named Propeller, which hasn't been released yet.

But despite these new kids on the block, McCue seems confident that Flipboard offers something different: "If you look at all these competitors, they're primarily focused on news... What we're focused on is something very different, we do do news, but it's really about social. It's about pulling Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, 500px, Flickr... all into one experience."

Sources: Flipboard, VentureBeat, Mashable, All Things D (1) (2), Paid Content, GigaOm


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Author

Hannah Vinter's picture

Hannah Vinter

Date

2011-12-07 16:25

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