In Flipboard, Some See a News Aggregator. I See the Future of Storytelling.

Kal Amin / August 7, 2018

Eight years ago, Flipboard made its debut as an app on the first generation iPad.

From the earliest days, Flipboard’s mission has been to inform and inspire the world through the power of great storytelling. It embodied the best of what the evolving internet had to offer: access, utility, and quality in one immersive experience. This new experience organized content in beautiful, personalized feeds and a never-before-seen “flip” design, bringing the allure of magazines and print media to the tablet. That year, Flipboard won the iPad “app of the year” and helped a generation transition from a digital desktop experience into the era of a more refined, mobile-first world.

Fast-forward to today: CNET named us one of the most important apps of all time. We’re proud of that recognition — but we’re not satisfied. I’ve been at Flipboard for a little over four months and, while I may have missed the excitement of those early days, I’m proud to say that we’re more motivated than ever to deliver on our vision of the future: We believe that the world is at its best when storytelling is at its best. And we aim to be the platform that enables the world to tell its best story.

Many of my friends and former colleagues have asked me why I joined Flipboard — particularly, why now? The business rationale is simple: a committed team, strong product and market fit, an expanding global audience, a large and growing network of publishers and content creators, advertising solutions that are driving results for premium brands, and strategic partners that are invested in our success. These are true platform capabilities that have yet to be activated at scale. But more importantly, now more than ever, it’s critical to help people better navigate the world’s content. As the digital ecosystem refocuses on quality, I believe that Flipboard’s combination of curation and personalized discovery is essential to that journey. While some see a “news aggregator,” I see a place for people to come to feel informed, happier, healthier, and more connected — every single day.

At its core, Flipboard is a curated content experience with journalistic principles — it is editorially guided and algorithmically generated. This means that our editorial and machine learning teams work together every day to hand-curate experiences like The Daily Edition10 for Today, and The Weekend. We take an active stance against fake news and hate speech with internal forums where our journalistic values guide our decisions. These decisions are in service to the 145 million people who use Flipboard around the world every month. We believe that the partnership between human and machine is not only what makes Flipboard an exceptional experience, but serves as a blueprint for a next-generation media platform.

Flipboard has long-standing relationships with publishers and media companies. As these partnerships have evolved, we are now one of the top five referral partners on mobile, according to Parse.ly. Connecting the world’s best content to our passionate audience serves as the foundation for these relationships and we’ll continue to support our thousands of publishers with content distribution and monetization. We’ve added more publishers onto our platform in the first half of 2018 than we did all of last year, providing our users with more perspective, depth, and breadth across key interests and passions. We are excited to expand our work with publishers and content creators to further empower storytelling through curation and more immersive experiences.

Some of the latest curated content experiences

For brands, quality inventory and attention are at a premium. We offer a well-lit, brand-safe environment and an audience that is paying attention. This combination of user experience, attention, and intentionality drives real brand and business results: 100% above benchmark for brand awareness, 50% above benchmark for purchase intent, and 20% above benchmark for foot traffic. As brands invest more in mobile advertising, it’s important to consider the mindset and interests of the audience receiving that content. As the app is designed around self-selected topics that fuel Flipboard’s Interest Graph, we can surface unique insights into what people are actually reading. Reaching consumers through the lens of their Interest Graph is a powerful opportunity for brands to build genuine relationships with their audience.

Storytelling is at the core of human nature and we believe that we can enhance this social and cultural activity just as we first delighted users with our original product eight years ago. We strive to build new designs and user experiences, develop richer content integration with video and audio, onboard more content partners, drive even better advertising solutions, and develop deep strategic partnerships that truly build value for everyone involved.

We’ve got a kick-ass team that is passionate about our mission to inform and inspire the world. We’ve made some significant hires this year and continue to expand our global teams. There are giants competing in this arena, but we believe that with this focus, team, and passion for storytelling, this is our time.

~Kal Amin is reading The Weekend

 

P.S. I’d love to hear from you. You can email me at kal@flipboard.com.