Flipboard, the personalized-magazine app, released a new feature Tuesday evening that lets users create and curate their own magazines based on content they find on the app and around the Internet.
The app, which now has more than 50 million total users, is popular for its ability to create custom magazines for individual user based on their social networks and the publications they follow. But now, users on Flipboard will also be able to build and maintain their own magazines. The company is calling the new feature its biggest addition since the app itself launched on the iPad in 2010.
As users read through the app, they can tap on a "+" button found on each item on Flipboard and add it to a magazine they curate. Users can also add a bookmarklet to their Web browsers to add content as they surf the Internet. As users view content on the Web, they can click the bookmarklet and add it to their magazines instantly.
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With the new update to the app, which is only for Apple devices at this time, users can create as many magazines as they want. Users can keep those magazines private or make them public and let others follow their magazines.
For now, it isn't possible for users to edit too much on their magazines, but they can name their publication whatever they'd like and they can also select the cover story. The picture for the story they choose will then be used as the cover for their magazine.
If users want to share the magazine, Flipboard also makes it possible for them to generate a URL link that they can then send to others over email or post on Twitter, Facebook or other social networks.
Flipboard's latest update includes a handful of other useful new features, but its ability to let users create magazines is likely to be by far the most popular. Here's five ways that we think users might use the new feature:
For journalists to curate stories
Reporters already share their stories on social networks like Facebook and Twitter, but Flipboard allows them a chance to present their work in a calmer, magazine format that would be solely dedicated to their stories. For the sake of variety, they can also curate the work of their peers. I've already started my own tech magazine that showcases my work as well as other tech reports that catch my eye.
To bookmark stories
Interesting news stories come out constantly, so it's nearly impossible to read them all. With the + button, users can bookmark stories they're interested in and read them later in a magazine dedicated solely to the stories they couldn't get to right away. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told The Times that's one of the many ways he's using the new feature.
To curate news on niche topics
As McCue pointed, many people love equestrianism, or horseback riding, but it's not very easy to find news on the niche sport. With Flipboard 2.0, people who passionately follow the sport can curate the best news and share it with others who have an interest in the topic. Others can do the same for all sorts of niche topics or for their favorite hobbies and essentially create magazines for any kind of news.
Back in middle school, a classmate and I did a project that required putting together a magazine about the '80s. We had to use paper, a binder and a bunch of printed-out pictures to complete the whole thing. The entire project took a week or two to finish. Now, teachers can give out similar assignments that would only take their students a day or two to complete using Flipboard. And because Flipboard can add more than just articles — such as pictures, tweets, audio from SoundCloud and videos too — these magazines will be far more interesting than what my classmate and I put together in junior high.
To promote businesses and organizations
With Flipboard, any business or organization can instantly create a publication dedicated solely to itself. The app could be used by organizations to curate pictures, reviews or news stories about them as well as any blogs or content they put out all in one place. It's a public relations agent's dream: a magazine that only shows good news about its client.
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