New Flipboard App Enhances Discovery By Topic

In a significant update to its popular digital magazine app, Flipboard has made it easier to find specific content, and introduced a redesigned smartphone layout and a daily news feature.

With more than 10 million user-created magazines now on Flipboard, being able to search across myriad niche categories has become increasingly important. To that end, the latest version of the app allows users to “follow” more than 34,000 topics through the integration of technology from Zite, which Flipboard acquired in March from CNN.

“Using the Zite technology to index content, Flipboard can surface great, handpicked stories to readers and deliver a broader audience to magazine makers on Flipboard,” stated company CEO Mike McCue, in announcing the app revamp late Wednesday.

When launching Flipboard 3.0, users can choose a wide range of topics from general categories like technology and sports to niche subjects like kale smoothie recipes. Once several topics have been selected, a user can flip through articles and videos in each area from multiple sources.

People can also use search by topic within the app’s search box or tap on topic tags at the bottom left of articles. As readers flip through a topic, they can see who first shared an article on Flipboard and the name of the user-made magazine in which it appeared. Along with topics, the app recommends people and sources that users can follow based on their interests.

With 70% of Flipboard’s 100 million users on smartphones, the upgraded app also includes a new designed optimized for phone screens. That includes features like a new tab bar with access to key elements like the home screen, search, profile and notification. A single-step “flip” is meant to streamline the process of adding content to a Flipboard magazine while a new set of analytics tracks how many followers and viewers it has, among other metrics.

The new Daily Edition in Flipboard assembles a line up of quick updates on top stories in categories like world news, sports, business and entertainment, posted each day by 7 a.m. In addition to news there is also a daily audio track and a lighthearted  “parting GIF” for users.

A Flipboard spokesperson said the updated app doesn’t include any changes to existing ad offerings, which include full-page ads sold on a CPM basis. McCue said last year users see ads about once every ten pages.

Flipboard has raised $160.5 million to date, including a $50 million round in December 2013, from investors including Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Insight Venture Partners and Twitter and Square co-founder Jack Dorsey.
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