June 19, 2012
Google+ Streams To Flipboard With New API
Enid Burns for redOrbit.com
We've reached the point in social networking where platforms are based on aggregating content from other social networking platforms to make them easier to consume. Each of these platforms, such as Pinterest and Flipboard need partnerships with social networking sites in order to gain adoption. Flipboard, an iPad app that's becoming available on other platforms including Android, just got a nod from Google to integrate Google+ into its streams.
Flipboard grabs content from Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and a number of other social networking platforms. Now it also pulls content from Google+ to create a magazine-like experience on an iPad or other mobile device. You can browse the content your friends are reading and posting about on those other sites. If a friend reads an article on the Washington Post that gets tagged on Facebook, that gets entered into your Flipboard table of contents. If your friend read the article, you must likely be interested in the topic as well.
Google's VP of product management Bradley Horowitz announced the integration of Flipboard with Google+ through an API at LeWeb'12 in London this week, which was covered by TheNextWeb.com and other sites. Flipboard's entry to Google+ though an API is actually part of Google's new Google+ APIs. In the case of Flipboard, the new Google+ API provides additional content from Google+ to Flipboard user streams. Through the Google+ integration, users can access posts, photos, videos and other data from the magazine-like app.
While apps like Flipboard need partners like Google to attract users, Google also needs integration with apps such as Flipboard to bring users to the growing social network. Horowitz said it's seen an uptick in interactions on Google+ since the app added Google's social networking site's content to its magazine content.
Google has its own social news magazine, Currents, which is seen as a competitor to Flipboard. Though Google likely realizes that in order for Google+ to thrive, it needs to forge relationships with these other platforms, even ones that compete with Google products and services.
Tech blogger Robert Scoble posted comments on his Google+ account regarding the new API and integration with Flipbook. He began his post by admitting that he moved his attentions to posting on Facebook rather than Google+ because that content streamed to Facebook.
In his post, Scoble exclaimed, "This is the beginning of a real API. One that can write and read."
Scoble expanded on his thoughts. "Why isn't this API open to all developers? Because Google doesn't yet have good noise controls and is wanting to make sure they build their social garden stage-by-stage and not be forced later to piss off developers because they need to change their API to product their user experience here."
LeWeb'12 London is being held this week for industry stakeholders to discuss issues and new web products. Other speakers include Ethan Beard from Facebook, Henrick Berggren from Readmill, Andreas Constantinou from Vision Mobile, Nick D'Aloisio from Summly, and Joe Fernandez from Klout. Flipboard is not listed as a presenter at the conference.