Flipboard enters the fediverse
One of my complaints about the new Artifact AI newsreader is how it seems to ignore the reinvigorated (at least in nerdier corners) open web, like RSS and federated social media.
So, it’s interesting to see one of the original newsreader/aggregators, Flipboard, has added Mastodon support to their app. It’s been literally years since I used Flipboard, so I downloaded it, reset my password, and gave it a go. It works!
Flipboard, as a concept, never really worked for me, though. The unique interactivity — that eponymous flip in lieu of a scroll — seems like a nice demo that simply never held up to regular usage. I seem to recall a lot of excitement about their layout engine, which promised to deliver magazine quality page configurations but is ultimately sadled with the content it’s ingesting. This is doubly true for social media feeds, where the app is trying to create a genuine pastiche1 from … well, tweets. I ended up having the same problem with the Readwise Reader app — it’s just not my thing in the way NetNewsWire is.
But we’re not here to review a twelve-year old newsreader app, we’re here to celebrate their embrace of the open web. Which makes it a bit more interesting that Flipboard has also set up a Mastodon instance of their very own to make it easier for anyone to get going with federated social media. Flipboard co-founder and CEO Mike McCue has a post detailing their embrace of the “federated future”.
Like I said, Flipboard the app never really stuck for me. But clearly plenty of people use it, and that’s great. Some of them might even start posting interesting quips over on flipboard.social and I’ll give them a follow. Just not on Flipboard.
I feel like “pastiche” is often used derisively, and therefore incorrectly, to mean something like “derivative”. I consider pastiche to be an homage and what I think Flipboard is aiming for is something akin to an actually laid out page like you might find in a newspaper or magazine. ↩︎