It was named Apple’s iPad App of the year and it’s one of TIME’s Top 50 Innovations. But what is Flipboard and is it relevant to Digital PR?
What is Flipboard?
Flipboard brings together information from your social media channels alongside the latest world news that matters to you to create a beautiful, personalised magazine about your world and everything that affects it. As it’s digital, the magazine updates every time you view it, so you’re always informed of all the latest developments. Originally it was for iPad only, but in December 2011 the makers released an iPhone app too.
How can we use Flipboard for Digital PR?
Flipboard is most certainly a good thing for brands on social media. For a start, the app shows off the hard work you put in to creating great content in beautiful, engaging ways. From my experience, the algorithms seem to pick up Facebook page content easily and tweets with links included come to life with short snippets from the referenced articles.
Most importantly however, Flipboard is a serious rival to Apple’s Newsstand feature, with the likes of The Guardian, BBC News and Wired already making their content available through the app. In the tradition of good social media, Flipboard breaks down boundaries between the traditional press and more niche online news sources such as Mashable or DailyCandy. Users can add all the publications that they are interested in and then browse the headlines from their favourite publications alongside their social media updates. Put simply Flipboard aggregates the news that affects your life, from world events, to the latest goings on in your industry and finally to the latest gossip among your group of friends.
I’ve developed the opinion that the next big hit in social media won’t be a shiny new social network (I saw a tweet from another social media bod the other day which simply said ‘Pinterest, I’m sorry, but I need another social network like a fish needs a bicycle’), but rather a social media aggregator that takes the data and information that we have scattered across a myriad of networks and presents it to us in one easy to digest, beautifully designed tool.
Flipboard are on their way to creating this tool, although it’s still a little clunky at points for me. I’d love to see the content from different channels sit more easily side by side, and I’d also like to make it easier to comment on or react to social media posts. It’s a great start though – and yes, us Digital PR folk should certainly be pricking up our ears!