Fast Flip: Google to the rescue? Yeah right...
Google is feeling the heat. Not the heat of competition, but the heat of becoming the "big evil company". So Google decided to come to the rescue. Google is going to save the newspapers. Last night they presented "Google Flip". With Flip you can "flip" through search results really fast while you see a visualized page of the results.
Google Flip is a way of searching which Google itself claims to be "a new reading experience that combines the best elements of print and online articles". However if you've used visual search engines like Searchme or Search Cube you will recognize the way it works. Google Flip is supposed to help publishers on the web make revenue. Sure...
Google has released Google Flip in Google Labs. They did however made it available for mobile right away. How does it work? When you search for a topic and click on a page you want to see you will see a screenshot. You will have to click again to get to the actual result page. The screenshots are supposed to give you the feeling you are looking at an actual newspaper page.
On their blog Google says: "Fast Flip lets you browse sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics, as well as feeds from individual top publishers. As the name suggests, flipping through content is very fast, so you can quickly look through a lot of pages until you find something interesting."
So far only a small group of partners have joined in on the experiment. Google partnered with about 36 partners, including the BBC and the New York Times. That means the results are very much filtered, but more importantly, the partners will make money. They will share the revenue earned from contextually relevant ads.
Google claims with this move it will help newspapers and other news-providers which are having trouble keeping their heads up in the fast changing world of the web. That sounds nice, but if that is really true remains to be seen. Everybody has his own preferred way of searching. This is just one of them. Besides that, the newspapers will never make enough money out of ads like this. It will be only a drop in the ocean.
Marissa Mayer told the BBC: "I don't believe we are part of the problem. I believe we are part of the solution. We have tried to build platforms and tools that build a healthy, rich eco-system online that is supportive of content. This is a new way of looking at content."
If it will save the newspapers? Probably not, but it does give them the feeling they are taken seriously by Google. Which probably is most important for Google: to not be seen as evil.
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