zite100248917orig500

Look for Flipboard to tap into Zite's personalized reading smarts

Flipboard just gobbled up one of its strongest competitors, buying reading app Zite from CNN for an undisclosed sum.

Zite's iOS and Android apps aren't going away, but they won't receive any more updates, as most of Zite's employees will join the Flipboard team. A blog post by Flipboard says users will "soon be able to enjoy a great Zite experience on Flipboard," but didn't reveal any more details.

Both Flipboard and Zite try to reinvent magazine-style reading for smartphones and tablets, taking articles from around the Web and displaying them in a clean, print-like format. Unlike Flipboard, Zite had the ability to learn your preferences as you used the app, tailoring its reading lists to match the subjects and sources you showed an interest in. Reading Zite was just a little less predictable--in a good way.

Still, Flipboard has always been the more popular of the two apps. When Flipboard first launched in 2010, it seemed to epitomize what a tablet app could be, with an eye-catching design that generated lots of early buzz. While Zite has not revealed user numbers, its Google Play Store listing shows 500,000 to 1 million total installs, compared to Flipboard's 1 million to 5 million installs. (Flipboard revealed in November that it has more than 100 million users.)

Flipboard has since tacked on new features such as user-created magazines and product catalogs; it's also made deals with major publishers such as the New York Times. But it's still missing that learning element that could help magazines feel more personalized. Presumably that's what Zite's technology will provide. To put it another way, Zite users' loss will be Flipboard users' gain.

Zite had been owned by CNN since August 2011. It's unclear what Flipboard will pay CNN as part of the deal--the CNN Money website valued the purchase at $60 million, though CNN itself told Reuters that amount wasn't accurate.

PREVIOUS ARTICLE

« Linux Foundation to offer introductory Linux MOOC on edX

NEXT ARTICLE

Khan Academy to offer free SAT prep in partnership with the College Board »
author_image
IDG News Service

The IDG News Service is the world's leading daily source of global IT news, commentary and editorial resources. The News Service distributes content to IDG's more than 300 IT publications in more than 60 countries.

  • Mail

Recommended for You

Trump hits partial pause on Huawei ban, but 5G concerns persist

Phil Muncaster reports on China and beyond

FinancialForce profits from PSA investment

Martin Veitch's inside track on today’s tech trends

Future-proofing the Middle East

Keri Allan looks at the latest trends and technologies

Poll

Do you think your smartphone is making you a workaholic?