Flipboard Brings Personalized Magazines To Android, Heads To The Web With New Magazine Management Tool

Posted: May 9, 2013 in Apps, Mobile, Social, Startup, Technology

Since the launch of personalized magazines this
March, social magazine maker Flipboard has added 6
million new users to its platform, bringing its total
number of users to 56 million – and that’s before the
feature even arrived on Android, which now comprises
roughly half of Flipboard’s user base. Today, that changes as the personalized magazine option arrives
on Android phones and tablets, alongside the launch
of a new web-based magazine editor designed with
the needs of curators and publishers in mind. Android users have a couple of unique options,
including the ability to “flip” items from other native
applications such as YouTube, the browser, or their
own photo gallery, into Flipboard. The updated app is
also now making use of Facebook Single Sign-On for
registration, the company notes. In addition, while previously a mobile-first and
generally mobile-only company, the launch of the online magazine management tool shows that
Flipboard is carefully considering how it should
proceed when it comes to the web. The company has
previously acknowledged that there are challenges
with Flipboard’s magazine sharing features – that is,
when someone tweets or posts a link to a Flipboard magazine on the web, it can be inconvenient for those
who click that link from their non-mobile device. For example, if you click on a link to Flipboard co-
founder and CEO Mike McCue’s awesome “Metazine”
magazine (a magazine of magazines!) at http://flip.it/
qyXu1 on the web, you’ll only be taken to a landing
page which directs you to download the app to your
mobile devices for access. This is something the team is working through now. As Flipboard head of product Eugene Wei explains,
the web has mainly served as a companion to
Flipboard’s mobile and tablet applications to date.
“But,” he adds, “we think the web is super important,
and we plan to do more on the web over time…I think
a lot of our partners want things like embeddable buttons or badges to help drive more viewership to
their magazines,” Wei says. He points out, too, that
the Flipboard has a limited web presence with its web
browser add-on, the Flip It button. The new web interface for magazine management is a
good first step in thinking about what role the web
should play in this mobile-first company. On the
newly launched site, editor.flipboard.com, users can
create, edit and share their magazines much as they
could previously on mobile, as well as take advantage of new, web-only options, like re-ordering the stories,
photos and videos within their magazine, deleting
content, or even changing the order of the magazines
under their account. Flipboard also announced today that The Financial
Times has launched on its platform. FT.com
subscribers will get unlimited access to FT content on
Flipboard, while other Flipboard users will be able to
access FT blogs and videos. This is the second
major media publication to offer paid subscriptions through Flipboard, following The New York
Times’ subscription debut last summer. CEO Mike McCue had hinted at this Android release
during his chat at TechCrunch Disrupt NY 2013. At
that time, he also shared that users had now created
over 1 million magazines using the new tool, and
some of those might even be worth paying for in the
future. Whether or not some of the upcoming analytics
features for publishers will also be worth paying for,
however, has yet to be determined, says Wei. He
notes that the stats and measurements Flipboard will
offer curators today on the new Editor interface will
become more robust in the future, informing magazine creators what stories work for their readers, what
other types of stories or magazines they read or
curate themselves, and how readership data is
trending over time. To manage your own Flipboard magazines from the
web, you can sign in to the Editor interface here.

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