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Flipboard arrives on the web

The app that turns your social feeds into a magazine is now available via your web browser

In a reversal of the normal way of doing things, social news aggregator Flipboard has launched a website five years after it emerged as an app. In app form, Flipboard takes feeds from a variety of your social networks and news sources and presents them in an attractive, magazine-style format.

The new Flipboard website adopts much of the same design philosophy, but lets you vertically scroll through the content, rather than “flip” from one page to the next. Unlike the app, it largely refrains from dragging content out of web pages and reformatting text and photos within its own design. Instead, once you click on a link to a story, you are normally redirected to the original web page.

Flipboard and other aggregators have often been accused of “stealing” content from websites, depriving the original publisher of the opportunity to earn money from their content in the form of advertising. The decision not to reformat content on the web may be a political decision as much as conscious design choice.

Flipboard claims advances in rendering technology have allowed it to bring the service to the web. “By developing for mobile first (Flipboard was originally built for the iPad in 2010), we saw that content could shine again in a clean and uncluttered environment,” reads a post on the Flipboard blog. “The Web evolved, too, with things like responsive design making for easier (and prettier) reading and navigation. The vision of our founders — to bring a print-like aesthetic to digital content — could finally be realised.”

Flipboard app users can sign in with their account and get instant access to the same feeds they follow on their smartphones or tablets. The web version also supports custom magazines, where users can select stories to publish in their own-brand magazine and invite others to follow.


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