Google has today launched its new experimental service ‘Fast Flip‘ in Google Labs that allows users to flip through quickly news and articles from major newspapers and magazines from scores of major publishers on the net.
All pages in Google’s Fast Flip service are cached by Google as flat graphic files and therefore loads very quickly allowing users literary fast flipping through hundreds of pages to locate page which interest them most.
The Fast Flip user interface offers screenshots of the web pages containing relevant articles which on clicking leads to the original page.
Google claims to have agreed upon mutually beneficial agreement with a three dozen odd major content publishers such as BBC and TechCrunch allowing Google show complete page, unlike brief snippets in as in Google news, in returns of major share advertising revenue with publishers.
Google Fast Flip has articles organised on a number of different criteria. For example, readers are offered articles that have been popular all day, that reflect their personal preference or those articles which are recommended by friends. Users can dig deeper into the story by clicking the screenshot of the page which leads to the original article on the publisher’s website. Users are allowed search for articles by topic or the keywords.
Josh Cohen, a business product manager at Google, said that the purpose of the service was to improve the way people read news and information articles online, making the experience more akin to flicking through a publication and coming across a story that you might like to read. In addition, Fast Flip would also feature a social element by allowing users to recommend articles to friends.
He further said that Google’s Fast Flip is one of the several different experiments Google has been working on with content publishers to establish how to grow the online audience, engage readers more deeply, and make more money for all parties.
“We don’t create content, we’re not editors or journalists, we’re a technology company,” he added. “If we can create better experiences online, then that’s beneficial to Google.”
Google also indicated that its Fast Flip service will also be available on Apple’s iPhone and smartphones running the Google Android operating system, enabling users to continue reading articles, opinion pieces and news stories while on the move.
Currently, Fast Flip service, according to Google, is to focus on US audiences only, but it hoped to extend the service to other publishers across the world in the coming months.