Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Google hopes readers will ‘flip’ over new format

Have you ever thought whether there is an easier way to read news online? Google has now started a new service to make it easier. Read on:


SAN FRANCISCO: Google Inc is testing a new format that is supposed to make reading online stories as easy as flipping through a magazine, a shift that eventually could feed more advertising sales to revenue-starved publishers.

The Internet search leader unveiled the experiment, called “Fast Flip,” on Monday at a conference hosted by TechCrunch, a popular blog.

The service is meant to duplicate the look and feel of perusing a printed publication. The stories are displayed on electronic pages that can be quickly scrolled through by clicking on large arrows on the side instead of a standard weblink that requires waiting several seconds for a page to load.

Readers can sort through content based on topics, favourite writers and publications.

For now, Fast Flip will only show the first page of a story. Readers who want to continue will have to click through to the publisher’s site, where the display reverts to a traditional webpage.

More than three dozen publishers, broadcasters and Web-only outlets have agreed to share their content on Fast Flip. The participants include two major newspapers, The New York Times and the Washington Post, as well as large magazines like Newsweek and BusinessWeek.

The publishers providing the stories to Fast Flip will get most of the revenue from the ads that Google intends to show in the new format.

That’s a switch from Google’s main search page and its news section, where the Mountain View, California-based company keeps all the money from ads shown alongside headlines and snippets from stories. — AP

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