After last night’s highly anticipated launch of the Flipboard news reading app for iPhone, the entire Flipboard service has been taken down. In a tweet posted to the official Flipboard Twitter account, the team admitted that the company’s service has been knocked out from “high demand” and is “working to resolve the issue as soon as possible.”
Flipboard first gained traction on the iPad because it was a fantastically designed news reader that incorporated social media sites and, most importantly, was free. Over time, it has evolved to include magazine-quality advertising and the ability to run multiple accounts on a single device so that different family members, for example, could access their own content from the same iPad.
The launch on the iPhone is a big step for the company, which has garnered $60.5 million in funding to date. But the launch appears to be simply too popular for Flipboard’s servers to handle. It’s unfortunate timing for a company that faces steep competition from the likes of Zite, Yahoo’s Livestand and AOL’s Editions.
Update: The company has issued the following update on its official blog:
Due to high demand, Flipboard is experiencing service issues. We are currently working as quickly as possible to resolve the situation. We have turned off account creation for now to restore the service and ensure existing users have a great experience. Please follow us on Twitter @Flipboard for updates as the day progresses. We apologize deeply for this inconvenience and thank you for your patience.
We will update this post as soon as service is restored.
Update 2: The company has posted more about the ongoing issues.
As a quick update from this morning, all existing Flipboard iPad users are able to enjoy Flipboard and anyone who has created a Flipboard Account on their iPad can launch Flipboard for iPhone and sign in to get all their favorite Flipboard content. For brand new Flipboard for iPhone users, we are still seeing server load issues that cause an error message when people try to set up. We are working on the server balancing and expect to have another update soon. Thank you for your patience.
Update 3: Things appear to be almost back to normal for Flipboard. The company writes:
We’re starting to slowly open back up to new users, who should now be able to set up their Flipboard on iPhone. Once you’ve downloaded Flipboard from the iTunes App Store, select “Get Started,” choose topics of interest, hit “Done” and create your Flipboard. Select the red ribbon and tap Accounts to create your own Flipboard Account.
Existing users who already have a Flipboard Account on their iPad can launch Flipboard for iPhone and sign in to get all their favorite Flipboard content.