According to a report by Reuters, the iPad app of the Year 2010, Flipboard, might add support for movies and TV shows by the end of the year. If the company and its CEO, Mike McCue, will manage to cut deals with studios and other content providers, Flipboard will expand beyond aggregating articles from social networks such as Twitter and Facebook or RSS services like Google Reader, becoming an all-in one solution to read, share, and watch.
Flipboard mixes articles from a growing list of brands like Oprah.com and the Economist with social media feeds from sites like Facebook into a personalized online magazine. It has received $60.5 million in venture capital funding and its app has been downloaded 3 million times.
Chairman and Chief Executive Mike McCue said he will tackle the video project at the end of the year. He declined to say which studio partners he has approached. He also hopes eventually to cut deals with publishers to sell electronic books through Flipboard.
Just when the concept of “consuming content” starts making less sense now that the iPad has turned into a full-featured platform and device capable of doing things like reading, writing, sharing news, and watching movies, the evolution of Flipboard towards broader audiences and media seems appropriate. The app was launched in 2010 featuring direct Twitter and Facebook integration to display stories from these networks, visualized through an elegant layout with beautiful typography that made great use of the iPad’s screen to present multiple stories at once, and allow readers to re-share them or comment of them without opening a separate client. The app went through a series of updates to further refine the interface, add more services like Google Reader for RSS feeds and Instagram for photos, recently receiving another major revamp to introduce visual search, a popular section, and a completely new UI to browse popular articles and get recommendations from the Flipboard team’s curated list of stories and sources.
We’re big fans of Flipboard here at MacStories, and I believe choosing to diversify the app’s offerings to include more content is step in the right direction. Obviously, as Reuters says, this may never materialize if deals aren’t reached with studios, but it’s reassuring to know Flipboard has been considering video as the next major addition to their social magazine. In the same report, Reuters also says the iPhone version of Flipboard is expected to hit the App Store in a few weeks, although no further details are available.