Flipboard Users Have Created More Than 10 Million Magazines

Less than a year and a half after it started letting anyone build digital magazines, Flipboard’s efforts to turn us all into magazine makers have hit critical mass.

Mike McCue, the mobile app-maker’s CEO, recently told me that the company now has 10 million digital magazines created by approximately 7 million users.

Flipping Out Over Magazines

That’s quadruple the number of magazines the company had just a year ago, three months after it launched user-created magazines, and the pace of creation is accelerating: It’s adding roughly 1 million magazines a month.

Flipboard has more than 100 million “activated users”—the company’s term for those who have downloaded its mobile apps and use them to read links and entire articles from a variety of online sources.

Flipboard stories are now as likely to come from other users as staff editors.

I’ll be interviewing McCue about how these millions of user magazines have transformed the way users consume content on Flipboard—and how this shift is emblematic of other changes in the media landscape—at our next ReadWriteMix on August 13 in San Francisco. There are still some seats left—you can reserve your seat now with a donation to Girls Who Code.

Get Your Tickets Now: Rebooting The Future Of Media With Mike McCue, August 13

When Flipboard launched in 2010, the online news reader called itself a “personal magazine,” using a mix of social feeds and editors to choose articles for you. Either you’d see links your friends were sharing on Facebook or Twitter, or you’d see headlines picked by hand by a small team of Flipboard employees and contractors.

Flipboard’s magazines have their roots in tools built for its in-house editors, which turned them into what McCue calls “bionic curators,” able to very quickly pull together news from various sources. To this day, Flipboard’s News and Tech channels are run by Flipboard’s editorial teams.

But unleashing users’ creativity with those same tools has proven far more productive. McCue credited the introduction of magazines, which cover a far broader range of topics than Flipboard’s editors can, with goosing Flipboard’s user numbers from 50 million users in March 2013 to more than double that now.

It’s also notable that about 7% of Flipboard’s users are creating magazines. That’s a healthy balance of creation and consumption.

Adding Up

Magzines also have commercial potential for Flipboard, which has been making an increasingly large push into selling its own advertisements to place in its digital magazines. 

Notably, the most-followed magazine, aside from those created in-house, is by Dole, the food brand, with 712,000 readers. Flipboard has been encouraging advertisers to create magazines which they then pay to promote inside other magazines, with the goal of creating more lasting connections with Flipboard users. Flipboard also carries glossy, magazine-style ads from luxury brands like Breitling, a watchmaker, and Van Cleef & Arpels, a jeweler.

Other popular magazines include Tech Tips, with 618,000 readers, and The Cute, with 333,000 readers.

Learn more about Flipboard at ReadWriteMix: Rebooting The Future Of Media in San Francisco on August 13.

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