Google today announced at the TechCrunch 50 event a new Google Lab project called “Fast Flip”. The new project is specifically related to news and how Google displays news results.
Google Fast Flip offers users the ability to search on specific topics; most searched news and featured recommendations. The new interface is exampled below;
Although initially the images are small, once clicked on the images can zoom in and full articles can be read. Google Fast Flip also offers the ability to click through to the content source URL. Google Fast Flip is significantly changing the user face of news and how we source news content, by offering a fast accurate scrolling or flipping function, users have many news topics and stories available to them without the constant clicking through one story, going back and clicking through another.
Once again Google is demonstrating the importance of visuals when designing or creating web pages; website that have appealing visuals with their news stories will benefit most from Google Fast Flip. The user interaction is also captured by Google Fast Flip, users can now rate the content, and the “like” function commonly associated with Facebook is now available as well as the ability to distribute virally. Google Fast Flip will also begin to develop and learn your user profile and behaviours and will return results based how you have previously searched.
This idea of Google Fast Flip could potentially cause outrage with many news publishers due to the Fast Flip offering considerably more content that Google News. However, Google Fast Flip is an opt-in service, so only the content provided by publishers that agree to the service will be found in searches. Google have been smart in terms of luring in publishers, they will offer a shared revenue concept from adverts shown running alongside their content on search pages. Already Google have established high profile partners, including, Business Week, BBC and New York Times, and this list is continue to grow.
Google has also embraced the world of mobile technology by offering an optimised mobile version of “Google Fast Flip”. The unique display structure of news, the ability to interact with users and the ability for viral distribution make Google Fast Flip a revolutionary concept for news. If successful and embraced by users, this project could change how other News Channels structure their news and indeed how news publishers product online content.