Recently I published a post commenting on the fact that Flipboard was an interesting App to check out, if you were able to. As the application was released there was such an influx of people downloading it and wanting to use it that their servers were overwhelmed. At that point I had watched their demo video, but had not yet been able to try out the App.
Now, they seem to have gotten things under control, even though you need to go through a registration process that lets them have better control on the number of people putting demand on their back-end services.
A couple of days ago I finally managed to test Flipboard, as I was able to put in my request and got their response email telling me that I was now allowed to configure the application to access my Facebook and Twitter accounts. That is a simple process and once you’re done with it Flipboard will start to pull in content from your accounts and to present it as you’ve never seen it before.
When you have configured your social network accounts and chosen a couple of other information sources (or infosource for short) you’d like to access through the application you can move will be presented with a checkerboard of small items, showing an item from each infosource you have selected. The way this is presented reminds me a lot of how printed magazines organize their content index, showing you a picture and some call out text about the main articles in their different sections. Well, that is hardly unexpected as Flipboard defines itself as a Social Magazine.
That is in fact a very good definition as Flipboard does a great job at presenting information that is gathered from your social networks in a manner that strongly resembles my conception of what a good magazine for the iPad should look like.
I’ll freely admit that I hate Facebook’s interface. Although I do go into Facebook every couple of days to post something and read up on what my friends and colleagues are doing it is only very sporadically that I spend more than few minutes at a time on the website.
Well, Flipboard changed my entire appreciation of Facebook. I still don’t like Facebook’s interface, in fact I think that I like it even less now, but Flipboard grabs links to blog posts, news articles photos and comments from my Facebook friends and presents them to me in a way that is enticing and engaging. I believe that I’ve placed more comments on Facebook items in the past 2 days that in the previous 2 months. Why? Because the interface draws me in to actually take a closer look at content I would not have clicked through to see in Facebook and then offers me the chance to comment on it.