On July 1, 2013, Google Reader was discontinued leaving millions of users searching for a new platform to read articles and news congregated in one place. While Google reader may have died, it was not the end of RSS readers. Since then there has been an eruption of new or redesigned RSS readers that have tried to take its place. One of the most popular RSS readers that has succeeded in meeting users’ needs is Flipboard. Flipboard is an RSS reader that’s on a mission to be the world’s best personal magazine by providing users with all the news, articles, videos and more in one place. After launching in 2010, Flipboard is up to over 100 million users and as of March 28, has produced over 15 million magazines on its platform. While initially flipboard app was just offered on mobile devices, they have since developed a web platform that carries the same quality, allowing a user to utilize flipboard anywhere. With Flipboard’s easy to browse environment you are able to stay up to date on the latest news and trends or dive deep into the issues and subjects that matter to you most.
How Flipboard Works
Essentially there are 3 main functions on the flipboard app that every user needs to know. The search function, that allows you to sort through over 34,000 topics to find content that is relevant to you. After you’ve found topics and influencers that you enjoy, you can then follow them, connecting you to the most up to date and important information. By following topics and influencers, flipboard will suggest related topics to add to your board. Then after you’ve found content and people that capture your interest, you can add their stories into your own personal magazine by hitting the “+” button. Flipboard allows you to be a content creator, curator, influencer or just casual reader. Flipboard now also uses Zite’s machine learning and topic extraction engine so readers can explore new content based on niche subject areas.
Flipboard has a few tools available to make your experience as a user more efficient. If you use Google Chrome they have a Flipboard Chrome extension that you can add to your browser that allows you to flip anything you find on the web directly to your personal flipboard.
If you aren’t currently a Chrome user or prefer a different browser altogether, Flipboard also offers a web bookmarklet that does the same thing.
How to use Flipboard 101
Let’s first look at the table of contents. You can think of the table of contents as your homepage where all the content you subscribe to is stored. From Flipboard’s Table of Contents you can tap into the best content from any news source or social network.
Now let’s look at cover stories. Flipboard’s Cover Stories is a great way to quickly browse all the content you subscribe to or that’s being shared by your connections on your social networks.
If you are looking for something specific don’t worry, Flipboard also has a search function where you can look for anything that may suit your interests.
To find more great content tap on the red ribbon in the top right-hand corner of your screen. In it you’ll find hundreds of recommendations of things to read, look at or listen to based on your interests and content you’ve subscribed to or searched.
As you browse, if you find content that you like, tap the subscribe icon to add content to your flipboard. By subscribing a tile will be added to your table of contents for easy access in addition to more content on your cover stories.
After creating a flipboard account you can connect your flipboard to social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and more. From there you are able to quickly post updates to your newsfeed on or from your social networks.
And now you have the basics of the Flipboard app! But you may be wondering, how does Flipboard compare to other RSS readers?
Flipboard vs. Feedly and Other RSS Readers
While Flipboard is popular and growing, it isn’t without competition. Many people have also flocked to apps such as Feedly and Pulse. While Flipboard can be categorized with Feedly and Pulse, it differs in terms of utility. Flipboard seems to be a better tool for quick browsing, discovering new topics and interests, consuming smaller bits of information, and consolidating social network feeds. Feedly and Pulse are tools that seem to be better utilized if you already have a consistent list of sources that you check for updated content. Instead of going to each site or blog individually you can sort and browse via the app.
Overall a lot of people use Flipboard along with another RSS reader. They user Flipboard for mindless browsing and discovering of new information, while they use apps like Feedly and Pulse for their consistent source of their favorite content.
You’ve done it! You’ve provided yourself with all the essential knowledge to get started with an RSS reader like Flipboard. We’ve looked at what Flipboard is and how it works. We’ve looked at the basic functions and how to get started using Flipboard. And finally, we looked at how Flipboard compares to other RSS readers like Feedly and Pulse. So why not try it out? I mean who doesn’t need another way to waste time while you’re in class or waiting for a meeting!
Have you used Flipboard or other RSS readers? Let us know what you think!
We are not affiliated in any way with Flipboard or any of the other RSS readers mentioned in this article.