Google announced it added more news sources to its Fast Flip experiment, and the San Antonio Express-News is now flippable.
Fast Flip is part of Google’s re-imagining of how readers find and consume news. Google takes snapshots of a publisher’s stories or blog posts. You can flip through pages like a magazine until something catches your eye, click on the page, and go to the actual Web site that interests you. Google also recently launched Living Stories, where a news article is treated not as the end, but as the beginning of a conversation with readers.
For some reason, in Fast Flip the Express-News pages aren’t as visually appealing as other publications because Google isn’t capturing the pictures and graphics on our Web site. Fast Flip has also been criticized. Is this Google tossing the media industry a bone to appease publishers who blame Google for their financial woes?
I think Google makes a strong case that newspaper Web sites are instantly recognizable as newspaper Web sites — they’re often clunky and difficult to navigate. Fast Flip and Living Stories are attempts to try something different.
Maybe the day will come when a reader visits the home page of a news site and have the option to change the format. Like reading stories chronologically in a blog format? Click that option. Like the Fast Flip style or the Living Stories style? Click on those options. Everyone has a different preference … let them choose the one they like best.