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Flipboard update allows for co-curation of digital magazines

flipboard updateWhen Flipboard rolled out version 2.0 of its popular news reader app for iOS and Android in March, it brought with it a feature that allows users to build their own sharable magazines.

It quickly proved a hit, with 100,000 digital magazines created and offered through Flipboard in its first 24 hours. Two weeks later that figure hit half a million.

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Having looked at ways to improve the feature, Flipboard on Tuesday introduced an update for both platforms that allows users to collaborate on the creation of a single magazine.

“Starting today, Flipboard curators can invite others to contribute to their magazines,” the Palo Alto startup announced on its blog. “So if there are people who share your passions or have expertise about your topic of interest, invite a bunch of your friends to be co-curators.”

Once a collaborator accepts an invitation, they’ll be able to simply flip content into the magazine using the “+” button on Flipboard and the “Flip It” Web bookmarklet. The magazine will also be added to their dashboard.

A month after its launch as part of v2.0, Flipboard boss Mike McCue told TechCrunch an impressive six million new users had downloaded the free app to their mobile device, taking its user base to a colossal 56 million.

The magazine feature allows you to build a digital publication with an array of content from across the Web, including articles, photos, video and audio. To find out how to co-curate a magazine with others who share your interests, check out Flipboard’s video below.

Flipboard can be downloaded for iOS and Android devices; if you already have it, the update should be showing up on your handset or tablet now. 

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Hands on: Flipboard 2.0 lets you create and share your own digital magazines

Odds are good if you do any sort of reading on your mobile device, you might be a Flipboard user. No, that isn't a terribly re-applied Jeff Foxworthy "You Might be a Redneck" joke; it's the truth. Flipboard is one of the most used news readers out there, thanks in part to its integration into social media, it's sleek look, and its excellent performance. This week brought the arrival of Flipboard 2.0, which brings the ability to create and share your personalized magazine. It's a case of the feature-rich just getting richer. Flipboard 2.0 is another step up for an app that already was looking down at its competition.
Flipboard users won't be thrown off too much upon entering version 2 of their beloved social reader. Flipboard, as always, starts by presenting you with various categories for you to pick your interests from. These choices will help generate your home page, with top stories from each field making their way to the front to vie for your attention. You can go deeper down the rabbit hole on each category and find more specific topics to fit your niches of choice, making the experience more customizable. If something isn't of any real interest of yours, it's easy to remove from your home page with a couple quick taps.
Outside of the standard category based pulls for story, Flipboard also will pull in all the top shares from your social media feeds if you link up your accounts. This presents the content that your friends and followers are sharing in a far more pleasant way than the stream of links that you'd see on Facebook or Twitter. You can dig yourself equally as deep into the social network scene as you can into new categories, as Flipboard allows you to add just about every account you can imagine, from Google Plus to SoundCloud to Instagram and everything in between. If there's a social network account you have, Flipobard will make it far prettier for you.
As usual, the more connection and customization you do with Flipboard, the better and more refined your experience becomes. The app has a better grasp on what you want and will deliver it to you in its standard, clean, streamlined fashion. Personalization is key to making Flipboard a worthwhile app, but it makes that process so easy at this point that it's really no struggle. If you value social links more than topical stories, Flipboard will make your news feeds the lead story. There's also something to be said about the sleekness of it as your reading and browsing, as it really does feel as though you're flipping through the pages of the world's best looking magazine.
Create your own magazine and share it

Of course, that brings us to the big addition in Flipboard 2.0. You can now take that custom built collection of stories that matter to you and share it with your friends as a digital magazine, essentially making you editor-in-chief of a paper made up of just things that interest you and distributed to an audience of likeminded readers. Creating a magazine is just as easy as the rest of the app, as you simply tap the "+" icon on an article and the option to add it as the page of a custom magazine comes up. You also get to title the personalized publication and set it to public or private.
Since Flipboard is integrated into every nook of your social media persona, you can send out links to your curated creation via social networks for people to read and subscribe through. Subscribing to a magazine will give you updates when new content is added to it. If you find yourself reading the magazine of someone you particularly enjoy, you can use the search feature to find more from that user. The same can be done with topics of specific interests, delivering you full publications that cover just the category you're interested in. It works as a great way to take the very personal experience of your own Flipboard and share it with others to discover people with similar interests and tastes.
As good as Flipboard 2.0 is, and it is very good, there are still some things that could use changing. Offline reading is still a weak point for this app. You just can't do it with ease. You can save magazines for offline use with Instapaper, as you can do with individual stories, but it seems like at some point there would be a first party solution for that. However, that's a fairly minor quibble for an app that does essentially everything else right. The magazines feature may end up proving a bit redundant to some extent, as sharing magazines with your friends that you already are pulling in social media shares from might lead to overlap, but the idea has merit and it functions as good as advertised. Flipboard is as much of a must-have app as it has ever been.

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Wanna be a publisher? Flipboard 2.0 lets users create their own magazine

Flipboard has just rolled out a major update to its popular news reader app that for the first time allows you to build and share your very own magazine.
Available for the iPad and iPhone – Android users should get the update in the next month or so – version 2.0 brings a range of new futures, but the ability to curate content for your own Flipboard magazine is surely the headline grabber. As the Flipboard team says in the blog post announcing the update, “now everyone can be a reader and an editor.”
Creating a magazine can be done in a flash – just choose a subject area that tingles your toes, make up a title, and search for suitable articles. Each time you find something that fits your magazine, simply tap on the ‘+’ button.
You can create as many magazines as you like, and choose whether you want to make each one public for others to (hopefully) enjoy, or private, thereby using the feature as a kind of ‘read later’ tool.
The feature allows you to pull articles from a multitude of sources, including items doing the rounds on social networks including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, LinkedIn and Tumblr. You’ll also be able to pull articles from your Web browser by adding Flipboard’s new bookmarklet obtainable from
It may sound all a bit Pinterest-y to some people, and indeed it is a feature that will appeal to those who enjoy creating collections, but it fits perfectly with what Flipboard is about and looks likely to be a popular addition to the app – for both readers and magazine creators.
In a video (below) introducing Tuesday’s update, Flipboard founder Mike McCue pulled up a magazine built by a fan of the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival. It looked pretty neat, full of news and stories about artists performing at the event, together with relevant videos and even music that you can tap on and have playing in the background.
Other new features
Also with version 2.0 is a new Content Guide with more visuals; new sidebars (on the second page of the iPad edition) listing subsections for easier navigation; and quick section switching by tapping the top of any page to reveal related content and subsections.
For those with fast fingers and little time, the update also brings with it super-quick flipping – before, pages had to be turned one at a time, not much good if you wanted to flip back through several pages in quick succession. Now, the page-turning experience is a lot more fluid.
The update is available now via iTunes here via your mobile device. Check it out and let us know what you think.

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Digital magazine subscriptions soared in 2012

With many publishers focused on the future of digital books, it's easy to forget that digital magazines are an entirely different format in its own right. No worries, you guys are not forgotten: New figures released Thursday suggest that digital magazines have found more of an audience in the second half of last year.
According to the Alliance for Audited Media's semi-annual "Snapshot" report of U.S. consumer magazines, sales of digital magazines "more than doubled" in the latter half of 2012 when compared with the same period a year earlier. The number of magazines now offering digital editions has also risen compared to the end of 2011.
The "Snapshot" report reveals that 7.9 million digital magazines were sold in the final six months of 2012, up from 3.2 million in the back end of 2011. Almost a third of that total comes from sales of Game Informer Magazine, which managed sales of 2.3 million over the six month period - substantially higher than the digital circulation of the next-best selling magazine, Maxim, which only managed 259,529 digital sales for the same six month period.
Game Informer's digital sales are significant not only for their out-of-scale success within the digital field, but for the fact that those figures match up with the combined print-and-digital sales of successful mainstream titles like ESPN The Magazine, Redbook, and Parenting. In fact, outside of the Game Informer numbers, the majority of top-selling magazines in digital format are familiar titles such as Cosmopolitan, National Geographic, and Reader's Digest (The titles that round out the top 5 best-sellers); in general, the titles that do best in digital format also sell well in print, suggesting that the two audiences mirror each other to some extent.
That mirroring is something that could offer some comfort to the magazine publishing industry as a whole. After all, what is likely to be of most interest to publishers in the report isn't just the rise of digital magazine sales in and of themselves, but the fact that that rise happened at the same time that total circulation for magazines is falling. According to the AAM's report, total paid circulation is down 0.3 percent; Single-copy sales fell far more with an 8.2 percent drop when compared with the same period in 2011 (The difference is made up by the fact that paid subscriptions, which constitute the majority of magazine sales, actually saw a bump of 0.7 percent year-on-year).
Although digital magazine distribution may only make up a small percentage of present overall magazine circulation, if the current trends continue at their current rate - or, in a worse case scenario, the drop-off in print circulation increases - then digital will start becoming more important if magazines are to survive. With 65 percent of magazines currently offering digital editions, it's hard to imagine that number won't jump higher in the next twelve months.

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