Google Makes Nice With Newspapers

This week, at the TechCrunch50 Conference, Google unleashed a news hub called Fast Flip. This is a service which Google hopes will help it make friends with the newspaper industry.  The idea is that a reader can view news articles from many publishers and flip through them quickly.  The company will place ads around the articles, and share revenue with the publishers. Google’s designers felt that there needed to be a way to replicate the experience of fanning through a physical newspaper, so that you could see articles and load pages quickly —  and this is supposed to be it. When you go to the site, you see a series of thumbnails, which increase in size when you click on them.  You can also open them up and read the actual articles, if you’re so inclined.  You can say that you like certain articles (which may point the way to what types of stories you will see in the future), and share ’em with your friends.  So far, about three dozen publishers have signed on with this service, among them: BBC, the NY Times,  The Washington Post and Newsweek; magazines like Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic, Esquire and Good Housekeeping; and Web-only publications like Salon, Slate, and of course, TechCrunch. Some of the publishers said they viewed the experiment with caution, saying that no single solution could address the plunging advertising revenues that plague the industry.



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