Friday, March 29, 2013

Morning Brief: Flipboard users flood the app with personal 'magazines'; Facebook schedules Android media even for April 4; Amazon acquires social books site Goodreads


Flipboard said that more than 100,000 "magazines" were created by its users in the first hours after the company updated its iOS app to version 2.0. The good news is this shows the loyalty of the Flipboard user base. The bad news is that no one actually in the media business can see 100K "magazines" added to the universe of publications available can be a good thing (but the good news is that these really aren't "magazines" at all).

The real question remains whether readers want to spend the time necessary to create their own collections of articles to share with others, or whether this is an activity that will remain exclusive to loyal Flipboard users. I am not a Flipboard user, but I think I've lived through enough of these things to know that it is best to withhold judgement a while and wait to see.

Meanwhile, another of those social sites, I'm sure you've heard of it, Facebook has scheduled an event for April 4. The vent will revolve around Android and will either be all about the launch of an Android phone (50-50) or whether it will be about an Android app solution. Hard to get very excited about another Android phone, to be honest with you, especially I'm one of those that likes to make anyone who wants to "friend" me wait at least three months before finally hitting "delete". After 26 years of marriage, friending anyone is fraught with danger.

Amazon said yesterday that it would acquire the social media site Goodreads that is all about sharing books. The acquisition makes sense if only from the standpoint that the site is popular and it has NOT been all about buying books on Amazon – I'm sure it will be now.

"Amazon and Goodreads share a passion for reinventing reading,” said Russ Grandinetti, Amazon Vice President, Kindle Content in the company's announcement. "Goodreads has helped change how we discover and discuss books and, with Kindle, Amazon has helped expand reading around the world. In addition, both Amazon and Goodreads have helped thousands of authors reach a wider audience and make a better living at their craft. Together we intend to build many new ways to delight readers and authors alike."

Goodreads, will remain headquartered in San Francisco (Amazon, of course, is a Seattle-based company), and has more than 16 million members.

Finally, this story says something about how "magazines have finally killed blogs" so I'm outta here (for now).

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