Touted as the first "social media magazine," Flipboard for the Apple iPad launched yesterday and is currently available free on the iTunes store. Differentiating itself form standard social media and feed aggregators, the applicat
ion connects to various networks like Facebook and Twitter, collects shared stories, images and videos, and reformats them into a magazine format.
In addition to pulling from friends and followers as media sources, the user can also specify popular news sources and curated categories from Flipboard itself for more content. These news categories are collections such as FlipStyle, FlipPhotos, FlipTech and the like. Though the media comes from disparate origins, the app creates an interface that seems consistent, with a page-flip navigation.
Flipboard has launched with much support - as reported by Mashable, the Palo Alto-based startup received $10.5 million in a Series A round with "including KPCB, Index Ventures, The Chernin Group, Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s creator), Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook’s co-founder) and Aston Kutcher." Additionally, it acquired real-time Web intelligence startup Ellerdale. The co-founder of this company is now Flipboard's CTO. Ellerdale's semantic analysis technology was employed upon large-stream data to extract relevant and valuable information which will now be used as a relevancy engine for Flipboard.
With its release has come scaling issues, as CEO Mike McCue's update letter explains. While users can download and use the app, browsing material that Flipboard has linked to. But due to maxed-out capacity, users are not able to setup their social networking connections. As of this morning, users are being invited in waves to connect their Facebook, etc. as the service becomes available.
While Facebook and Twitter are the only currently supported social networks, McCue does mention that they plan on incorporating Flickr and LinkedIn in the future on Kara Swisher's BoomTown interview