Flipboard has launched a big overhaul with version 2.0, which transforms the reading experience to something of a creation/curation experience. Now, in addition to reading news in a magazine-like format, you can create your own magazine-like experiences based on your interests.
"When you search, we instantly create a magazine out of your results. It’s faster, more visual, and easier to navigate," explains the Flipboard team in a blog post. "And, for the first time, you can collect and save articles, photos, audio and video by organizing them into beautiful magazines. These can be private, or if you want to connect with like-minded enthusiasts, you can make them public and share them on Flipboard and beyond. Now everyone can be a reader and an editor."
Users can hit the + button next to articles, create "magazine" names, and addd descriptions. There's no limit to the number of magazines you can create (at least that's what they say). In addition to news sources, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, SoundCloud, LinkedIn and Tumblr can be used for magazine content.
The new Flipboard also comes with more content, including a partnership with Etsy, which should mean good things for the rapidly growing online marketplace.
There's a bookmarklet, which users can add to their browsers and use it to addd any piece of content on the web to Flipboard.
"If you’d like to be inspired, tap on 'By Our Readers' in the Content Guide, which contains a selection of magazines from staff and friends of Flipboard who’ve been experimenting with 2.0 in our beta program," says Flipboard. "They include bloggers like Gardenista’s Michelle Slatalla, entrepreneurs like Kate Kendall, curators like Bureau of Trade’s Michael Phillips Moscowitz, small business owners like Elizabeth Leu, musicians like Linkin Park, and people with passions around graffiti, fashion, apps, horses, travel, food, kids and more. We’ll be highlighting many of them—and people like you!—in our blog in the coming weeks."
Other new features include: a new content guide, commenting, more recommended reading, subsections in partner magazines, newspapers and websites, fast section switching, and optional Facebook Open Graph integration.
Flipboard's redesign, of course, comes at a time when a lot of people are looking for replacements for Google Reader. For power users, Flipboard has hardly been an adequate alternative. Sure, it's pretty, but for organizational and productivity purposes, it just hasn't fit the bill. For the casual news reader, however, it's an eye-pleasing experience, and possibly even better now.
Flipboard has a reported 50 million users. It's unclear when the new features will make their way to Android.