Flipboard is getting ready to roll out two new features to get its users more engaged with its publishing platform: related stories and a holiday gift guide.
When accessing the service, a typical user may cycle through their Daily Edition or magazines based on topics they set up during the on-boarding process. Previously, you were left relatively alone to discover new stories and content based on the people who you followed and topics you selected. But what if you read a great story about the U.S. presidential race and wanted to know more? Flipboard wants to keep you engaged with that topic through its related stories.
At the end of most, if not all, of the articles you read, you’ll see a screen aptly labeled “Related Stories” that will present five other stories you might be interested in. They’re pulled from different topics. Earlier I read a Fast Company article about Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg, and at the end, was greeted with articles from topics like “Middle East” (for its Safety Check feature), “Mark Zuckerberg,” and “Charlie Hebdo” — these are not necessarily topics I’m following, but they feature stories I’m interested in.
With the addition of related stories, Flipboard further integrates technology from its Zite acquisition. A company spokesperson told VentureBeat that the technology features a mixture of Zite’s collaborative filtering and some new internal development.
As this feature will likely encourage readers to dive further down the proverbial rabbit hole, Flipboard’s algorithm will gain more knowledge about their interests and be able to provide an increasingly fine-tuned selection of articles.
But what about those who want to keep track of the news and world happenings but don’t know how to get started with Flipboard? Does the company have the same problem engaging new users as Twitter does — is that why the two were considering an acquisition deal? Just in time for the holidays, the company has debuted its Gift Guide, which lets you send a collection of articles from a set of topics to share what’s interesting about Flipboard.
Having 80 million monthly active users isn’t anything to shake a stick at, but let’s not forget that there are an untold number of people still signed up who aren’t using Flipboard — perhaps because they don’t know the value of the platform. This gift guide could be a useful way to bring them fully on board.
Active users will notice the gift option within the app’s notification screen. From there, they can specify which of the 21 topics they want to send. Within each is a collection of articles relating to the topic from a variety of publishers. Users can flip through those articles or even “follow” the topic to receive more stories in the future.
Flipboard said that it’s going to monitor usage of these two tools to better understand user engagement and interaction with its product. They will be available on both Flipboard’s iOS and Android apps starting this week.