There’ll be very few iPad owners out there who won’t have downloaded Flipboard by now. Touted as the world’s first “social media magazine”, the app launched on Wednesday with such success that two hours after it’s release, it trended on Twitter and overloaded Flipboard’s servers, preventing users from syncing their Twitter and Facebook accounts with their Flipboards. The app quickly topped the free download chart in the iTunes store with a Marmite-like 50/50 split between five-star and one-star ratings. Reading the reviews, the one-star raters were annoyed by the apparent lack of planning that resulted in the initial server overload issues, but the fanboys and the forgiving amongst us saw past the teething problems and fell in love.
Flipboard takes the content shared by your Facebook and Twitter friends and uses it to create your very own, personalised, dynamic magazine. All of those interesting articles and unmissable pics at the end of all of those mysterious shortened URL links are beautifully laid out for you in a digital magazine format. If you like the look of a particular image or article, you tap it to expand it and interact with it. From within the Flipboard app, you can ‘Like’, comment on, or share the Facebook content, or ‘Favourite’, re-tweet, or email the Twitter content. It’s beautiful and simple, and makes logging into Twitter and Facebook the traditional way seem ancient and clunky by comparison. From it’s fabulous slideshow ‘cover’, to it’s big images, pleasing grid layout and great use of white space, it’s clear that Flipboard been created for social media junkies by magazine lovers; flipping through your Flipboard is like flicking through a high-end design magazine.
Screenshot of Flipboards Twitter content display
Flipboard’s page layout
With effective album displays and a seemingly magic lack of Farmville notifications, Flipboard is a great friend to Facebook, but Flipboard’s heart belongs to Twitter! Eight of it’s available nine channels are dedicated to Twitter; one channel syncs with your Twitter account while the remaining seven are available to add Twitter streams, friends and lists to. If you’ve never seen the point of lists on Twitter before now, Flipboard’s a great reason to get started with them. I can envisage plenty of Flipboard users will set themselves up a dedicated Flipboard list, and those who put out good content are about to get a whole lot more Twitter-love.