Digital publishing welcomes a new player on the field; a free app for the iPad called Zite, posing serious competition to popular app Flipboard that was awarded as the iPad app of the year 2010 by Apple. Flipboard would centralize the feeds of Twitter and Facebook accounts, displaying them in a magazine format, accompanied by fine-quality photos, headlines and virtually flappable pages. Most of the times, the result would be a very encumbered layout, sometimes displaying irrelevant topics of interest for the reader. This is where Zite steps in and promises a personalized experience:
“What’s broken is there’s so much stuff out there, and I don’t know how to get to it,” says Ali Devar, Zite’s founder and CEO. “There’s no automatic system that’s catching the important stuff I miss every day. Search doesn’t solve it. Social doesn’t solve it. A lot of [Zite beta testers] came back to us and said, ‘Thank goodness, here’s something that gives me my content and more, but filters it for me.’ People are feeling the pain, and they need it resolved.”
Zite filters feeds from the Twitter and or Google Reader account, but also incorporates other topics of interest, offering users the possibility to first appreciate info with thumbs up/thumbs down buttons, and secondly to request additional sources of a specific topic. The innovation of the app is that it centralizes the reader’s profile, such as topics of interest, length of articles and reading time, offering an accurate and personalized service.
Unfortunately, in the iPad world of publishing, free content is becoming rare, as we take a look at Conde Nast’s decision of last week to inflate the prices for GQ and Vanity Fair editions for the iPad.
Another important announcement comes from Adobe and presents the launch of the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite that will support both Apple App Store Subscriptions and Google One Pass for magazine and newspaper publishers. This new product for tabled devices will increase business opportunity for publishers – including more than 3,000 publishers and content authors currently participating in the pre-release program for Adobe Digital Publishing Suite.