I don’t use facebook all that often. I find it really noisy. I have a bunch of friends that I collected to play social games like farmville and mafia wars. I don’t care about quizzes and causes and all that. I don’t care about your political opinions or your pet peeves. I want to know what might be of note in your life, or I want you to entertain me, and that’s it.
Flipboard seems to know all this and filter a lot of the crap out. I get montages of posted photos, arranged tastefully. I get pages of status updates that I can scan quickly. I get interesting videos and funny links, already rendered so if I’m not interested I get the idea right away. If I do find something interesting or I want to comment or leave my opinion, I can do that, too. It’s elegant and painless. I don’t have to go to the facebook website. Facebook on Flipboard is what facebook should be. I’m very impressed and I think I’m more likely to use facebook. Flipboard is the killer app not just for the iPad, but also for Facebook.Then there’s the twitter integration. I think this is awesome. I mostly use twitter to follow people that I don’t know personally. I want to know what they are doing, what interesting links they are finding, the latest news in their domain. Most of my friends don’t use twitter, so it’s almost entirely a news/tech idea curation tool for me. Flipboard takes the links and lays them out in a way that is much more aesthetically appealing, and more usable because a lot of the links content is brought right into the app. So far I’m really liking it. Again, I’ll use twitter much more because of this presentation.
I want to use the lists feature now to categorize the people I follow on twitter into subject groups so that I can follow what’s going on in all the different areas of my world that I’m interested in. I’ll have a general news magazine, a design idea magazine, an iPhone programming magazine, etc. I have been heavily using Google Reader for about a year now, but have heard that many people are switching to twitter, because the social curation element brings the cream to the top. I don’t find using twitter very appealing because it’s too much work to go back and forth, I want a google reader interface that collects and categorized the links into feeds. Well, Flipboard does just that and it does it beautifully. I’m really excited about the future of this app.
There are some copyright concerns, the content of some websites are scraped and brought into the app. The problem is that adds, branding, and other content is brought left out. While this is a big part of what makes the end result so elegant, it means that some websites and blogs don’t get to monetize their content as well as they might if they had full control over the content. Hopefully this can be resolved without any loss of functionality.