Flipboard Magazines Now on The Web. This Is Scary for Content Creators & Traditional Publishers

flipboardFlipboard, the reading app for mobile, is getting a web app as well! The Inside Flipboard blog said

Now, for the first time, all of those magazines can be experienced on the Web. Starting today, when you share a Flipboard magazine via email or social media, anyone who clicks on the link can read it, whether or not they use Flipboard.

More than 2 million magazines have been made on Flipboard, after its second version was launched. The new version of Flipboard allowed people to curate magazines and share it within the community of an estimated 75 million users.

The web magazines were uniquely designed for desktop browsing with Flipboard’s look and feel, the blogpost said. “Each magazine has an expansive, full-bleed cover, and pages can be “flipped” from left and right, just like on mobile devices,” it added.

For users this is amazing! But it isn’t a particularly happy moment for publishers and content creators. Like Paul Armstrong points out on PaidContent

With the flick of a switch, it could deal a serious blow not only to the traditional old media but also to a variety of digital platforms – Tumblr, Flickr, WordPress, among others – as it pivots from purely curation-based interaction to one that offers users full-blown creation abilities.

Unless content creators wall their content, a set of users are going to share it on Flipboard if it is compelling enough to be shared. If Flipboard doesn’t figure out a way to cut them in, its going to get ugly. Publishers such as Wired & The New Yorker have pulled their content out of the reading app fearing that it is “cannibalizing readers”, points out GigaOm.

For users, this means a similar beautiful experience on the web. Wouldn’t be surprised if people at work start flipping through Flipboard, just like they browse through websites. Only this time, there are no editors or gate keepers to tell them what they should be reading.  For publishers, it means all the good content gets pumped into Flipboard, without the advertisements. It need not necessarily mean a new set of users because it is mostly the guys who are already on the web.

Update: The web version only displays a snippet of the articles shared on Flipboard. This is some comfort for content creators as they can hope for some traffic from readers who want to read the whole article.

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