Flipboard success crashes to earth

23 Jul 2010

Too much hype for ‘personalised magazine’ iPad app Flipboard has brought so much popularity that its servers collapsed under the strain, leaving new users disappointed and frustrated.

To cope with the demand and prevent further backlash, Flipboard CEO Mike McCue announced it would be switched to an invite-only basis.

“A new version of Flipboard (version 1.0.1) is now available on the App Store. This version enables people to reserve a setup slot and to enter their email address so that we can notify them once their slot has opened up,” he said.

Those who have just download the iPad app will find that Flipboard’s default public news stream is available but that personalised Twitter and Facebook streams are not possible at the moment.

This is where the backlash began: the genius thing about this app is that it combines e-book, personalised content and social media in one free iPad app.

Users can pull in feeds from friends, family, acquaintances and chosen news sources through Facebook and Twitter, and have these articles or posts displayed in a magazine-style layout through which they can flip.

Publicity for the new app has included a generous amount of tweeting from tech blogger Robert Scoble: “My brain actually gets tired after looking at Twitter for more than an hour. Not with Flipboard.”

While some have criticised Flipboard’s lack of ability to pull in RSS feeds, Scoble defended this decision, stating that most brands now have a Twitter feed, anyway.

With the iPad on sale in Ireland today, we’ll get to see what all the fuss is about, but one important factor, it seems, is that the iPad is beginning to upstage the old-fashioned paper magazine.