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Google Unveils Fast Flip and Startups Take a Gamble

google fast flipGoogle (s goog) today launched a new feature that organizes articles on the web in a way that resembles print magazines, called Google Fast Flip. Marissa Mayer, the search engine giant’s VP of search products and user experience, who unveiled the feature at TechCrunch 50 this afternoon, explained that Google founder Larry Page had questioned why the web wasn’t similar to a print magazine, where the content is already available for you to read as soon as you turn the page. Using the Google Fast Flip page, people can click on a topic — say, entertainment — and scroll through small screenshots of articles on that topic from various sites, such as (in the case of entertainment) Us Weekly, People and Seventeen. Click on an article to view a larger image of it and a second time to read it on its original site. Or you can simply scroll through a string of articles from 30 well-known news brands, including the Washington Post, Slate and BBC News, publishers with which Google will share advertising revenue.


Prior to the Fast Flip unveiling, however, startups focused on advertising and monetization took the stage to show off their wares to a panel of judges, which included Mayer and Zappos’ (s amzn) CEO Tony Hsieh. Two of the startups that presented, SeatGeek and Rackup, have a gambling-like feel. For sports fans and concert goers, SeatGeek forecasts for users the prices of event tickets on secondary markets, such as StubHub and eBay (s ebay) — and takes a 7-10 percent cut of each sale. Rackup, meanwhile, holds online auctions that take place over very short time periods (e.g. 60 seconds) during which people can bid for gift cards to their favorite stores. And it adds a sweetener: It will increase the money value of the gift card a person is bidding on based on how early they placed their bid and the size of it relative to other competitors in the auction.



10 Responses to “Google Unveils Fast Flip and Startups Take a Gamble”

  1. Sorry – I really don’t agree with the comments – -Consumers want to be able to read and scan and absorb and digest on headlines as fast as they can. That’s why winners in this space rely on link density driven by relevance to drive consumer satisfaction and ultimately reach. While I was GM of Yahoo News in ’08, we tripled engagement in a redesign of the story pages by putting more relevant links and more relevant headlines very close to the the story folks were reading.

    It’s all about relevancy, and the propinquity of available links.

    This is a step backwards in my opinion. I wrote a full blog post on this here:

  2. In my opinion Google has waked up and restarted real innovations.The interesting aspect of this is that they use reward sites and authors that use good visuals. Thus Google has given us interesting news and they can expand their services too. A very glad news to all the google users.

  3. What’s with the ugly, hard-to-read, bitmappy use of non-anti-aliased fonts? Isn’t the whole point to make things more readable?

    I’m finding it much better to go to the original site than the read something that looks like an improved color screen version of a 1984 Mac.