Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Flipboard Capitalizes on the Semantic Web

Flipboard is the new social network darling, creating a tablet friendly "magazine" by aggregating and organizing media from users' social networks. The newest semantic thingamajig became so popular after launch that server load was noticeable and resulted in limited connection to the news aggregator app.

We also know that major media outlets like the New York Times have taken a position against these types of apps claiming copyright infringement.

Legal matters aside, with US$10.5 Million in startup funding Flipboard has a lot of ground to make up to get in the black. With increasing questions about business model viability for bandwidth intensive apps that don't serve ads and don't cost anything to use (let's be honest, Millennials and other power users wouldn't pay to download Flipboard in it's current state) I can't help but wonder if the sole purpose of Flipboard is to be bought out by a larger company.

The obvious play until then is advertising revenue, and it would appear that the best way to do that would be use of all the wonderful social data passed through Flipboard to serve meaningful adverts to a relevant target audience, but that's just asking too much, right?

Regardless of how revenue plays out (or doesn't) Flipboard seems to have connected with a significant unmet need in the marketplace for personally relevant content vetted by peers.

Here's the Flipboard feature video in case you missed it:

Nick Kinports (follow him on Twitter @ADMAVEN) has worked in the interactive technology world for over 9 years, and helps the Fortune 100 identify unmet consumer needs, create ideas to fill those needs, and bring them into market. He currently works at Maddock Douglas.
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