Google launches magazine-like news reader
Google is launching Fast Flip, a magazine-like image viewer it says will speed the reading of news online.
The experimental tool, launched Monday night as part of Google Labs, displays news stories as images that look much like a magazine page. The image has links on it that takes readers back to the original content provider and is flanked by ads. Google is sharing the ad revenue with the respective content providers.
"The publishing industry faces many challenges today, and there is no magic bullet," Krishna Bharat, a researcher for Google News, said on the company's blog. "However, we believe that encouraging readers to read more news is a necessary part of the solution. We think Fast Flip could be one way to help, and we're looking to find other ways to help as well in the near future."
More than 30 partners are part of the project, which is available in Canada. News providers taking part include the New York Times, Salon, Cosmopolitan and Spin magazine.
The feature is also available in a "tactile" format, where pages can be flipped using the touchscreen on an iPhone or Android device.
The company announced the feature at TechCrunch 50, a conference held by the popular technology blog in San Francisco.