Flipboard Major Update: A New iPad Magazine/Content Experience

Remember the iPad Flipboard app? It’s the “social magazine type” app that launched back in July creating a lot of press coverage. The social app launched back then with a very sleek design that captivated many folks.

Today, that same developer has said it is partnering with major content providers and advertisers with the goal of becoming a full iPad magazine producer. Their new adventure, called Flipboard Pages, will take the content from publishers and turn it into a HTML5-based sleek layout that resembles a paper magazine.

The idea behind Flipboard Pages is to add a framework to the existing Flipboard iPad app that automatically converts traditional Web content into an iPad-friendly format, featuring full-screen, paginated, magazine-like pages. The way it works is simple. The framework detects the stories your friends and other users are linking to on Twitter and Facebook, and displays it in a magazine format.

In other words, when you tap content from different publishers shared by your friends on Twitter or Facebook (from within the Flipboard app), you will be taken to a new magazine-like reading layout instead of a traditional Web page. Publishers don’t have to worry because when users are taken to the new display format it will still count as a website hit or pageview for them.

The Flipboard Pages framework still going through Beta. The media partners trying out the new framework are ABC News, All Things D, Bon Appetit, SB Nation, Lonely Planet, the San Francisco Chronicle, Uncrate and The Washington Post Magazine. All of these publishers have worked with Flipboard to create their own HTML5-based framework keeping their preferred look and feel. We’re sure other publishers will join the effort with their own adaptations.

But, how does Flipboard generate money to keep this model working? Well, you will see full-page ads through a partnership Flipboard has set up with media communications firm OMD. Flipboard is trialing different ads by using a few OMD clients such as Pepsi, Gatorade, Infiniti, The CW Television Network, Showtime, Levi’s, Dockers, Hilton Worldwide, GE, Project (RED), Standup2cancer.org and Charity Water.

This model will be somewhat unique for the publishers. First, is a new experience in the way the users discover the content and share it with their friends. Second, instead of forcing users to jump from one browser window to another on the iPad, all the content will be managed from within the overall framework of the Flipboard app itself.

Flipboard is taking a different approach than other publishers that are distributing their content as locked-down subscription-based applications. Let’s see how this concept works. Will it be well received by all of you? What do you think?

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About Roberto: A blogger with a passion for applications, gadgets, new technologies, and everything new in this ever-changing technological world. Contact me via Twitter: @PG_Roberto