Flipboard is an app for iOs and Android devices that is revolutionizing the way we consume content. It aggregates social media, magazines and select websites, and morphs them into a personalized magazine. In short, instead of going to five or six websites every morning to check what is new, you simply click on Flipboard and it brings you a beautifully-designed digest of news that is relevant to you.
"Simplicity, elegance and beauty" are some words that tech bloggers have used to describe their interactions with the app. The same words could also be used to describe some of Apple's products -- where the company's success is partly driven by distilling its ideas to their essence. While not every company that exemplifies Apple's philosophy automatically becomes a candidate for acquisition by them, Flipboard is in a unique spot that could drastically improve the way Apple aggregates social content and news. Here are a few reasons why Apple should buy Flipboard:
1. Apple's Newstand is broken. It is two-dimensional, and requires users to go to the app store and buy individual magazines and newspapers. It is static in the sense that is difficult to share interesting news using other sites. Flipboard does what Newstand sought to do in a much more seamless and interactive way.
2. Google Current is taking off. The app delivers beautiful magazine-like editions to your tablet and smartphone. Google Currents is working to position itself as an alternative to Flipboard. Future plans for a more social news app, currently called Propeller, is in the works at Google Labs.
3. Apple's iOS 6 was a disaster. Tim Cook even admitted they "fell short on this commitment." Although some see this as good news -- effectively proving that Apple is not infallible -- the company cannot afford anymore flubs in products and future iOS releases. Flipboard would fix Newstand and add new opportunities to grow in the social news market.
4. Facebook's Open Graph is dominating the Internet. It is changing the way brands and consumers interact. Brands are increasingly using Facebook's tools to quantify their interactions with users and improve their social ROI. It is not perfect, but it works for some brands.
Apple has not utilized FB's Open Graph to its advantage. Since Apple is in the business of making "beautiful products," it has yet to integrate tools such as the Open Graph to connect advertisers and their customers. And Flipboard does that.
5. Social networks still have not figured out how to best monetize their platforms. CPM's from advertising are low because most users are passive, yet brands are being forced to pay big money to reach those users. This has angered some, and there is still space for improvement. Both Apple and Flipboard could use this to their advantage by incentivizing content providers to reach users through a beautiful and unobtrusive interface.
Flipboard rocks in many areas that Apple does not. It readjusts Apple's position in aggregating social media and news -- two areas that are exponentially increasing in size and scope. At the end of the day, content is king, and the platform that best connects both users and advertisers will be a winner in this field. Flipboard would be a strategic acquisition target for Apple, but if it does not act fast, others are sure to jump at the opportunity. And that will definitely have an effect on Apple in one way or another.
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