Sunday 8 August 2010

Flipboard - Reinventing the advertorial

Imagine a magazine or newspaper which has articles you're really interested in. Whether it's the latest industry news - in your industry - or the latest news from your friends and family. Combine this with the best media content you like - don't want sport, remove it. Now make this near real-time, in a glossy, tactile, user friendly format.

This is Flipboard. The much hyped - and in my opinion deserving - new application for the iPad.

Building articles based on your social network content including Twitter and facebook, Flipboard presents a highly personalised and relevant experience. With the content you read being based on your network, it means that those who's opinions you trust, value or enjoy are literally building and collating the content for you.

More importantly though it provides a whole new way of interacting with social media. Using Flipboard makes traditional Twitter streams look more akin to reading news on Ceefax.

It obviously doesn't replace Twitter for two way interaction or posting of thoughts, but does provide a fantastic way to consume the information that flows by.

In a recent article Flipboard co-founder Evan Doll said:-
"With the information overload, people are doing more sharing and it is more difficult for the signal to get through the noise"
Although it is currently free and revenue streams are yet to be realised, it is clear that this will be revenue generating. CEO and co-founder Mike McCue says:-
"We think we can bring a totally new form of advertising to the table that will allow publishers to monetize their content by a factor of ten from what they’re currently doing with banner ads".
However, for brands there would appear to be two opportunities. The first is to use standard advertising, much as they would do within traditional media - although given McCue's comments I'd expect this to be a lot more intelligent and relevant.

The second though is really about leveraging the power of social media.

If you create content and opportunities which get people talking about your brand, linking to your brand and sharing your brand within their social networks this will translate into articles in Flipboard.

Essentially a modern day advertorial - except without the cost and with more credibility.

With server capacity reportedly reached within 20 minutes of launch, over 130 media companies contacting them within 4 days and riding on the back of the iPad which is breaking all sales records, it's clear that Flipboard is both the one to watch and the one to get watched by.

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