Every morning, I flip through a magazine that’s been created just for me. It’s tailored to my interests, it pulls news from all of my social channels, and it’s displayed within the 3.5 inch screen of my iPhone.
I’m on Flipboard, a digital, social magazine. If you use this app as religiously as I do—or have at least downloaded it—you know that it is absolutely gorgeous.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with Flipboard yet, it is essentially a news and social media aggregator with a unique way of displaying information, available as an iOS or Android app. Flipboard pulls stories from partner publisher sites like National Geographic, NPR, and Lonely Planet. Once you connect Flipboard to your social networks, it also collects information from those feeds.
All of the content is displayed in one big “flipboard” within customized tiles, which are organized by topic or publisher. Tap a tile and start flipping through to see headlines and accompanying images from top stories around the web. Thanks to the built-in social connect feature, the photos, videos, and articles you view have an instantly shareable layer.
A virtual magazine filled with the things you love could have become clunky or overcomplicated. But it didn’t. Flipboard’s mission is to “let people discover and share content in beautiful, simple, and meaningful ways.” To which I say: accomplished. Its stunning, fluid design is simple. And it’s intuitive—jumping from story to story is as simple as flipping with a quick swipe of your finger.
There is a huge opportunity for brands to integrate their content within Flipboard. Why? Well…
1) This app could make any brand’s content look great. Each piece of content within a tile pairs a simple headline with a clean visual. It’s compelling and couldn’t be easier to scan.
2) People want to share great content. (That one’s a given.)
3) It offers the platform to share great content easily. Retweet, favorite, +1, share, or comment without ever leaving the app.
Of course, I’m not the first one who has put this together.
Levi’s recently created ads specifically for the Flipboard platform. I’ve come across them in my daily flipping, and guess what? They don’t feel like ads. They appear in contexts that make sense, and flipping through them is basically the same as browsing a catalog.
Levi’s knew they essentially wanted to say, “Hey you, buy this shirt!” but found a way to merge this message seamlessly into Flipboard’s framework. It’s less intrusive than any other mobile ad I’ve seen, and it’s actionable in a subtle way—with one click I could buy any of the featured products.
Having recently passed 20 million users, Flipboard’s growth is on the rise. Smart marketers need to pay attention to apps like Flipboard to figure out elegant ways of integrating their messages into the experiences their consumers love.
So start flipping. The ideas will come.