My Friend, The Editor

The tech world was abuzz last week with the latest application for Apple’s hit product, the iPad. FlipBoard, an application that is similar to an RSS app, is unique in that it searches your Facebook and Twitter accounts and presents, in magazine format, the stories that your friends have chosen to share on social media. Essentially, your friends become magazine editors. What we have seen over the past year or two, was that people were increasingly obtaining news and information through social media sites. FlipBoard is capitalizing on this phenomenon (thought the app is free) to present, in a very polished magazine style format, all of the articles your friends have shared over the past three days.
If this application proves to be popular (it is already in the top five in iTunes), it could herald a new era of social network community sourced content, as it provides an easy to use, all in one platform for the masses. For companies trying to gain visibility, this may mean that an effective social media strategy will become even more important. In old PR, it was calling up an editor at a particular magazine or newspaper to get an article placed. In new PR, it is engaging with the millions of social media editors who will be suggesting stories to friends. The landscape is changing fast, and FlipBoard could be an indication of what’s ahead over the horizon.
The concept that FlipBoard brings could prove to be exceptionally popular in Asia, especially China. With an active social networking scene (with homegrown localized platforms), users share stories and information with one another just as much, if not more, than their Western counterparts. And with a large gadget crazed populous, FlipBoard could be ported to the region and used extensively.
I have a feeling that Flipboard represents the evolution of the social media experience, which, at its core, is about sharing. As consumers begin to increasingly adopt tablet computers to replace print media, they may also toss out the traditional editor as well. After all, your best friend next door most likely understands your interests better than an editor in a high office in New York.
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