Google Launches New Digital Reading Service
Google has launched a beta version of FastFlip, its new digital reading service the company hopes will make it easier to read magazines and newspapers online.
FastFlip aggregates articles from dozens of participating publishers and makes them available in a digital reader that allows readers to flip through its pages as they would a print magazine or newspaper. The new service is based in Google News and available at http://fastflip.googlelabs.com.
The motivation behind the new service, according to the official Google News blog, is that "one problem with reading news online today is that browsing can be really slow. A media-rich page loads dozens of files and can take as much as 10 seconds to load over broadband, which can be frustrating. What we need instead is a way to flip through articles really fast without unnatural delays, just as we can in print."
Google will display ads alongside the reader, and Google says publishers will receive most of the revenue from these ads. For now, only the first page of an article can be viewed in FastFlip. A reader looking to continue through the article is then redirected to the publisher's Web site.
For its beta version of FastFlip, Google has partnered with three dozen major publishers, including including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Salon, Fast Company and Newsweek.
A mobile version of the service is also available.