Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flipboard releases update to their social 'magazine' app

Yesterday I did a long -- very long -- post on the Flipboard app. I defended the concept of the app, and drooled at their funding, but also called the app "a bust" because its main feature -- the ability to use your Facebook and Twitter accounts to bring in content -- did not work for many users (though I did say that those that could make it work seemed to be enthusiastic about the app).

In the interest of fairness I thought I should post that the folk behind Flipboard have posted an update to their app (here) which they say provides improvements to login and capacity issues, fixes bugs and crash issues, and fixes an issue with the section buttons.
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As I said yesterday, it is ironic that the problem with the app is technical since the company is really a tech company creating a media app, not a media company creating an app. Nonetheless, this was an extremely fast turnaround so they should be applauded for that.

Which brings me to another point: companies that develop their own apps (and are good at it) can respond like this to fixes, as well as to opportunities that arise. These opps would include adding features based on user feedback, adding multimedia through a strategic alliance, etc.

This is why I am somewhat more optimistic about the pure plays in the mobile and tablet publishing field. Just as pure plays "got" the Internet faster than those media companies that reluctantly built their first websites, I think start-ups like Flipboard will probably "get" the iPad's significance quicker than the media companies who just find an easy way to get their print magazines and newspapers on the tablet. We'll see.

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