Flipboard turns social news feeds into a personalized magazine

A new iPad application described as a ‘social magazine’ aims to present a user’s Twitter and Facebook news feeds in a standard magazine format.

After launching Flipboard, users see a personalizable table of contents, including Facebook and Twitter sections which let readers quickly flip through stories, photos and updates from friends and trusted sources.

Links and images are rendered within the magazine, so that readers don’t have to scan long lists of posts and work out from a URL or subject line whether something’s actually worth reading. Articles are instead presented in a magazine format, with a picture, headline and first few sentences.

“With over one billion messages posted every day, social networks are quickly becoming the primary way people discover and share content on the Web. The result is a huge influx of incoming messages and links people must sort through across multiple web sites just to stay up to date,” said Mike McCue, Flipboard’s CEO.

“We believe the timeless principles of print can make social media less noisy, more visually compelling and ultimately more mainstream.”

Flipboard also lets readers create personalized sections around favorite topics. Several news channels are provided by the company, including tech news, music and sport.

The company was founded by Mike McCue, former CEO of Tellme, and Evan Doll, a former senior iPhone engineer at Apple. It has this week acquired Ellerdale, which offers advanced semantic analysis of large, real-time data streams.

The Flipboard App is available for free at www.flipboard.com, from the App Store on iPad or at the iTunes store.

When it launched last night, Flipboard was quickly overwhelmed, and new registrations were halted.The company says it is deploying new servers, and will be ready for another wave of users tonight.