I've got an iPad and have enjoyed it - particularly when it comes to reading the WSJ, NYT or the various books I am reading. However, last night after a suggestion from my friend Clint Lee I got the Flipboard app (watch video below), a free "social magazine" that debuted to great reviews, resulting in a digital traffic jam at Apple's App Store that made it hard to download the program.
Wow. Now when I’ve referred to new business models that incorporate fresh ways of delivering content - this is what I was talking about.
So what is Flipboard? Imagine the huge list of updates and links served up on your Facebook or Twitter feeds transformed into a handsome, clean magazine format that is easy to peruse. Imagine that this "magazine" includes Web content of your favorite newspapers or magazines. Your tablet is now a personal, virtual newsstand.
"We thought the idea of a social magazine would be an incredible thing," said McCue, who sold his previous startup, TellMe Networks, to Microsoft for a reported $800 million. The iPad emerged as the ideal format. And it certainly helped that Doll was a prominent Apple engineer who had taught a popular Stanford class on iPhone app development.
The Flipboard app includes a contents page that enables you to dive into your favorite Web features with a touch. Pulling up the keypad lets you comment on articles.
Flipboard relies on an editing process that uses algorithms to update the news. Their recent acquisition of Ellerdale gives Flipboard a team of engineers focused on analyzing large, real-time data streams. Ellerdale co-founder Arthur van Hoff, now Flipboard's chief of technology, said his team provides a "back-end" complement to Flipboard's consumer-facing technology, playing a key role in providing users with the news that is most relevant to them.
Today an ad in Men's Health might look pretty. Now imagine that ad on Flipboard inspiring you to make a tweet or tap a "like" button. Now imagine an alert about a sale at a store near you. You get the idea.