Flipboard hits 20 million users, adds one new user per second


At just over two years old, Flipboard has reached a new milestone with over 20 million users. According to today’s announcement, the social news reader’s usage is growing, and it’s doing so at a rate of one new user per second.

Flipboard, in a braggart infographic, reveals that it was servicing 5 million users one week after the debut of its highly anticipated iPhone app in December of 2011. In a span of eight months, the service has added over 15 million users.

Digging into the infographic, Flipboard reveals that users are spending 86 minutes per user per month, with an average of 1.5 million daily users. The service has had 3 billion flips, which indicates the number of times that its Flipboard users turn a page within the app. Interestingly, Flipboard users are most often flipping on tablet devices during Sundays, the company says. As for the activity on its smartphone app, most of the interactions occur on Thursdays. When breaking this down to hours, users are flipping through the app most often toward the evening, nearing the time right before people will go to sleep. Apparently Flipboard users like to catch up on the day’s news before they fall asleep.

Flipboard’s metrics alone are important to recognize as evidence that consumers are consuming content in more ways than one, and this pattern of consumption is evolving into somewhat of an expectation of publishers. Content syndication is today’s reality and a new distribution channel that publishers should look into.

But the relationship between Flipboard and some of its partners have not always been rosy. Publishers have had the difficult task of finding the right balance between its consumers’ brand loyalty to its own publication and loyalty to Flipboard. For example, with a publisher offering its content Flipboard, the worst case scenario would be a situation where that outlet’s readers are inclined to turn to Flipboard rather than to the publication’s website.

On top of this, selling advertising within a third-party app requires that a publication share the revenue earned. Consequently, publications like Wired and The New Yorker have cut back on offering full text, as Adage first reported.  Instead, within the Flipboard app, they simply provide a URL to the original article. That way publishers can garner advertising revenue directly from its own website, but still access Flipboard users.

While there’s a delicate relationship between content platforms and publishers, it’s evident that, as far as the consumers are concerned, apps like Zite, Pulse, Flipboard and News360 are part of their news reading habits.

Check out the Flipboard’s full infographic below:

Flipboard infoGraphic 20 million users