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.
- 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)
- 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.
- It’s complicated: To go from a Flipboard news piece to the original piece within the browser requires three steps. This is inefficient.
- 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
- 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.