Google (NSDQ: GOOG) is significantly expanding the size of its Fast Flip service, which provides a way for people to easily skim through news content online in a way that is supposed to replicate the process of reading articles in print. The company just announced that 24 additional publishers, including Reuters (NYSE: TRI), the Huff Post, Politico, Tribune, and McClatchy (NYSE: MNI) will make some of their content available via Fast Flip, which went live in September with 36 publishers on board. Those publishers included the NYT and the Washington Post.
In a blog post announcing the expansion, Google says that “so far our initial thesis has held up: If you make it easier to read news online, people will read more of it” and adds that it has been “pleased with the amount of time (that users) have spent reading articles in Fast Flip.” The company wouldn’t provide any specifics on how many people are actually reading on Fast Flip or how long they are staying around for; a spokesman said that “getting feedback and refining the product is more important to us right now than driving traffic to it.”
For now, Fast Flip is only featured in Google’s experimental Google Labs page, but the spokesman said the company was testing ways it could integrate Fast Flip with Google News. “We’ll do that if it creates a better experience for users and publishers,” he said.
Fast Flip is one of two new online news formats that Google has introduced this fall. Earlier this month, it announced another Google Labs project, ‘Living Stories,’ which groups multiple articles concerning one topic on a single page. For now, there are two publishers on board with that effort — the Washington Post and the NYT.
Robert adds: Three UK titles also join Fast Flip at this time: The Telegraph, The Independent and the Daily Express.