The latest update from news aggregation service Flipboard aims to further unify and organize users' online feeds by introducing "Smart Magazines." The new feature creates topic-specific publications that readers can customize by selecting their favorite websites and social feeds.
Previously, Flipboard users had to rely on an overwhelming 34,000 topics and 30 million magazines as the primary way of navigating the platform. The Cover Stories section simplifies this chaos, but it's not organized by topic. Smart Magazines bridge this gap by filtering the noise and giving users more control over how their news is presented.
"Where do I go if I just want to see photography stuff?" Flipboard CEO Mike McCue told TechCrunch. "I might follow 50 different magazines and 12 different topics [related to photography], so how do I see it all together? There hasn't been a good way to do that until now."
Users begin creating Smart Magazines with the Passion Picker, a one-screen tool that prompts users to select a broad topic of interest. Then they pick more specialized subcategories and follow sources like Twitter feeds and hashtags, YouTube channels, and specific websites. The resultingmagazine features major stories as well as more niche news within the topic.
For example, a sports Smart Magazine might include the day's biggest news and highlights, then get into finer details like the Los Angeles Lakers or NBA trade rumors. The Smart Magazines also aim to improve their content selections over time with machine learning as the reader likes and adds stories. The update is rolling out to iOS, Android, and web users today, so watch the video below to check out the new features in action.