Liz Gannes

Recent Posts by Liz Gannes

Flipboard Partners With Web Publishers for Full Content (and Full Disclosure: Including ATD)

Yesterday, I wrote about Pulse, a news-reading app with innovative design, going social by integrating Facebook.

Now Flipboard, a social news-reading app based around Twitter and Facebook, is adding publisher feeds.

One thing’s clear: There’s a lot of excitement and energy going into how the iPad can re-create content consumption.

Flipboard is launching a beta test with eight publishers, including, full disclosure, All Things Digital.

The other publishers are ABC News, Bon Appétit, Lonely Planet, SB Nation, SFGate, Uncrate and the Washington Post Magazine.

Participating advertisers, through a partnership with OMD, include Pepsi, Gatorade, Infiniti, the CW Television Network, Showtime, Levi’s, Dockers, Hilton Worldwide, GE, Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau, Project (RED), Standup2cancer.org and Charity: Water.

They are contributing full-page ads that are inserted into longer-form articles.

During the beta period, no money will change hands between any of these parties, including our site, according to Flipboard CEO Mike McCue.

Later, McCue said he expects to add many more publishers to the Flipboard app, and perhaps help publishers create their own “iPadified” content experiences to distribute themselves.

Instead of prompting users to go to the iPad’s Safari browser to read full versions of articles, as it has done to date, Flipboard will now import partner publisher content and lay it out automatically. For these stories, Flipboard formats images, divides them into pages and offers different layouts for portrait and landscape modes.

McCue said Flipboard users’ No. 1 most requested feature is the ability to add content through RSS feeds.

But he’s not giving them that with this update. Users can still only subscribe to publishers through Twitter accounts and lists. The reason, according to McCue, is Flipboard is dedicated to the social aspect and beautiful design of content, and RSS contains neither of these things.

McCue speaks of scrolling through Web pages with advertising units and side bars as a relic of the early Web and crappy Internet connections, saying Flipboard represents a return to the pagination and image emphasis of print.

Unlike print, though, Flipboard doesn’t work offline; that’s a future feature, said McCue. He also said his team is still singularly devoted to developing for iPad, and will divert focus to Android tablets only after they have an established user base.

By the way–more full disclosure–seeing ATD content get iPadified in McCue’s demo wasn’t as fun and glossy as you might imagine, especially given our small images.

And in what might be a problem for other content publishers like us, the quick blog posts we often write are not as easily transferable to this layout, given Flipboard does not yet differentiate between short stories and longer articles.


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I’m a giant vat of creative juices.

— David Pogue on why he’s joining Yahoo