Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Longform launches new iPad app for reading long-form magazine content on your tablet

I have asked the question many times, "what is the barrier to entry for content aggregation apps such as Flipboard?" The answer I always come up with is that there isn't one, other than the act of creating the app itself.
Another new app, but one with a different business model, was launched today. Longform is sort of like Instapaper or Read It Later in that users add content they find online to the app. The difference is that Longform also works with these aggregation tools, and, most importantly, the content is "curated" by Longform.

The editors behind Longform are Aaron Lammer and Max Linsky who started Longform as a website the curated long stories found on the web – the iPad app is just the logical next step, I suppose.

The purpose of the site is to find great stories and, most importantly, repackage them into more reader friendly formatting.

"It's a terrible way to read a story, and unless you're an absolute long-form diehard or the piece is about someone in your immediate family, you're not going to put up with it," Max Linsky told Jack Shafer, then of Slate. It was his tweet, and a link to a story on the Capital website that called attention to the new app.

Unlike other aggregation apps that have an ad model supporting them, Longform charges $4.99 for its app. This will probably seriously limit its appeal – as will the fact that this is getting to be a very crowded field, even taking into account that Longform offers a curated experience rather than a user aggregation one.

I personally did not download the app, so I have no opinion of its design – and as someone who is online over 10 hours a day, I already feel overwhelmed with the amount of content I read in a day. But Longform – both the website and the app – may be just what you are looking for.

Here are the remaining screenshots used in Longform's app description: