Five reasons why I (almost) never use Flipboard

21. September 2010 § 4 Comments

When Flipboard came out as an application for the iPad this summer, I was excited, as were most people (or here) in the digital content business. I eagerly waited for access. When I got it, I was fascinated for an hour or so. Since that day, I have hardly ever started the application again. Why is that? Is Flipboard overrated? I checked it out again these days and identified five key points that seem to define my reluctancy.

  1. It’s quite a mess: Flipboard pretends to curate news for you, but in fact, it doesn’t. It simply re-arranges your Feeds (Twitter, Facebook) and journalistic sources in a new, graphical manner, but without any context or priority (see photo)
  2. It’s slow: Browsing through Flipboard, reading headlines, opening some of them in the browser, posting or retweeting them takes much longer (at least double) than doing the same on a desktop browser, opening several windows. The page-turning effect is nice, but also time-consuming. This might change with the iPad being able to multi-task in the near future.
  3. It’s complicated: To go from a Flipboard news piece to the original piece within the browser requires three steps. This is inefficient.
  4. It’s limited: The content streams Flipboard offers are limited in topics and sources; also, they are still very much geared towards the U.S. user
  5. It lacks features: It shows a list of recent contributors, but I can’t sort stories by contributor. I can re-tweet out of the application, but not comment (similar to Twitter’s limited built-in re-tweeting feature). It can’t mix Facebook and Twitter, I still have to access both separately.

Admittedly, if you take the time and don’t care about these limitations, Flipboard can still be a nice experience – but more for the print-nostalgic than the web-savy audience. DISCLAIMER: I know that it is technically very hard to remedy these points – but from a user’s perpspective, I can’t really count this in.

§ 4 Responses to Five reasons why I (almost) never use Flipboard

  • Agree, I feel pretty much the same. An additional reason is that I get most of my news either in “real time” via TweetDeck on my desktop or in my Google Reader. For me, Flipboard doesn’t really fit, even though it looks good and is an innovative idea.

  • […] Five reasons why I (almost) never use Flipboard « Socially Mobile Gute Argumente gegen Flipboard. […]

  • Update to my blog post: Some smaller issues have been improved with a recent update (e.g. tweeting with comments), but this obviously doesn’t change my general perception and usage pattern

  • Aksel Lykke Paulsen says:

    You should have spent a bit more time with the app since many of your points are wrong.

    You can doubble tab on a headline to go directly to the source webpage.

    The predefined picks may be geared towards u.s. users but they are ordinary twitter users or lists which means that you can add your own lists or any other public list or user you like.

    Sure It has bugs like not always loading more when you get to the end of a timeline, can’t always pull the right content from The linked page and is missing some features like google reader integration but all in all it’s currently the best and fastest way to get an overview and check out linked content from facebook and twitter.

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