With Its New Notes Feature, The Magazine App Flipboard Now Supports Original Content.
Flipboard, a magazine reading app, is the latest contender in the race to move some of the online conversations happening on Twitter to its own platform. Today, the company said that Flipboard’s curators will be able to put original content in their magazine to have a conversation with their readers. The company is of the opinion that the feature will make it possible for curators to form small communities based on a specific topic or interest. In the end, this would convey a different vibe than when posting to a more general audience on Twitter.
In 2012, the social magazine app made it possible for users to create their own magazines by “flipping” articles into magazines that other users could follow in their feeds. Curators will now be able to do more than just share articles and other information with the launch of the new notes feature. They will be able to post text notes that can include uploaded images or links, and they can even @mention other users to reach people outside of their own community. Mike McCue, co-founder and CEO of Flipboard, says, “It’s kind of like doing a regular post on Twitter or Facebook, but it’s going into a magazine.” It allows people who care about something, who are following this magazine or contributing to this magazine, to be able to talk to each other, communicate, and build a stronger sense of community,” he states. “It’s like a post into a micro-community.” The notes stand out thanks to their bright blue background. They can be liked, commented on, shared, or flipped into other magazines.
While curators can write in the notes without worrying about a strict character limit, the goal is not to create a new newsletter or blogging platform like Medium or Substack. Instead, the length of Flipboard’s notes is intended to be more like that of a Facebook post. They can be used, among other things, to write an introduction to the magazine, similar to an editor’s note, or to ask the community questions and respond to readers’ inquiries.According to McCue, the feature has been in the works for about six months, so it wasn’t made to take advantage of Twitter’s chaos, which has led some of its users to try out other social apps like Mastodon, Tumblr, Post News, Cohost, and Hive.
However, according to him, the timing of the launch might end up being one of those situations in which “preparedness meets opportunity.”
In recent days, Flipboard is not the only publishing platform targeting Twitter users. In November, Substack also announced its own discussions feature, Substack Chat, which aims to connect readers and authors in a community conversation.
However, in the case of Flipboard, the objective may be to expand its reach by incorporating a social component. The magazine application is a more developed organization, having been established back in 2010 to offer a more cleaned news perusing experience that is likewise tweaked to clients’ very own advantages. Today, the company asserts that it has more than 100 million monthly active users. However, this number includes users on the web and mobile as well as those who open news emails from Flipboard. Users who currently only read news via email may be encouraged to re-engage with the app in a more direct way if the community notes feature is added.
The company claims that there are “millions” of Flipboard magazines available, but only 25 to 50 percent of them are active in any given month because not all of them are updated frequently.
The Recipe Exchange, The Travel Exchange, and The Photography Exchange are just a few of the Flipboard-run group magazines that have undergone a pilot program prior to today’s launch. Social activity (likes, comments, flips, and shares) increased by 40% from July to September in tests, and by 28% in October compared to September. The feature was also tested by a few curators, including Jefferson Graham’s Photowalkers, Kym Tyson of 33andFree’s Hiking the World, and Maurizio Leo’s The Breadship.
According to the app, Flipboard is introducing a new Community tab next to its For You feed to showcase the best magazines and curators in conjunction with this rollout.
The notes feature is now available on the web and will soon be available on iOS and Android.