Think fast! Google Fast Flip is here and it's sure to make things interesting for web publishers.
Fast Flip is one of the newest creations from Google Labs. It is a web application that combines the qualities of print and the Web, with the ability to "flip" through pages online as quickly as flipping through a magazine.
Sounds cool and pretty tame in concept, but in practice things are heating up pretty fast (pardon the pun). And that's because about three dozen publishers, including the New York Times, the Washington Post and siblings Newsweek, Salon and The Daily Beast have agreed to let Google use their logos and graphical images of their web content in exchange for the chance to take part in a new user interface being offered on the web and mobile versions.
Queue dog fight. Why? Because it's revenue sharing and Google and publishers, like the Associated Press (who is not among the media outlets lending their content) have been notoriously at odds ever since their content was able to be searched and read for free.
While it makes sense for publishers to take advantage, it does seem like an unusual thing for Google to do as its never shared revenue for news content before.
Fast Lane to Salvation?
This might indicate a sign of positive growth for the news and Google industries. While others argue over whether or not this will save newspapers, the more immediate gain is that newspapers will have lots of user data to pour over.
Fast Flip offers multiple chances to move out of Google to the original site: clicking on the image, following text links to the original story, to the main site or the topic area on the originating site.
Google ain't dumb, though and the app is designed to keep people where their bread is buttered -- on Google!
Regardless of who gets saved, at the end of the day a collaborative approach to newspapers has emerged.