One of the best ways to take advantage of my husband’s iPad has been using it to keep track of social media updates. I don’t always have time for that while I am working, so reading what my friends share using iPad while on the go has been a great way-out for me.
The two interesting applications I’ve been successfully using are FlipBoard and Zipe. They both create the magazine out of your social updates and offer you a neat way to go through them.
FlipBoard is a popular free application that can create a beautiful magazine out of one’s social media updates (Twitter, Facebook and Google Reader). It aggregates the linked page summary, grabs its images and other media and compiles a magazine-like overview of your friends’ social updates. It captures both tweeted links and raw “unlinked” updates.
It doesn’t offer any update ranking or grouping options – all it does is pulling your updates and outlaying them in an easier-to-digest way.
The fact that it supports Google Reader means that you can actually aggregate anything that has RSS feed (Twitter search, Google news search, blog search, etc) and use it for multiple purposes (besides the major obvious one), for example:
- Reputation management;
- Competitor tracking;
- Content inspiration, etc
You can use your Twitter and Facebook account right from the app by retweeting, liking and commenting on updates:
There used to be numerous complaints about the app performance but it’s always been working smoothly with me.
Zite is a newcomer. It is also sometimes criticized for bad performance but it’s a normal thing with newly emerged tools and apps.
The most interesting part about the app (and also what it is being distinguished from a more established competitor) is that Zite is advertised to “personalize” your news. It will be tracking the news you are reading and liking and offer you more “of the kind”: the sources you prefer, whether you like longer articles or shorter ones, or whether you prefer news or opinion content. You can help the app by thumbing article up or down inside the app (as well as share them on Twitter, Facebook or sharing via email).
Zite works with Twitter and Google Reader (which also gives you some flexibility) to deliver you the updates you will like. It also has its own sources broken by categories. You can choose several categories to get more relevant content.
Zite does look very appealing. It pulls image thumbnails for you to easier understand what each story is about.
To Sum up…
|Sources||Twitter, Facebook, Google Reader, Flickr, Instagram||Twitter and Google Reader|
|Story ranking||None||Ranks updates based on your preferences and browsing behavior|
In closing, both the apps do look and feel appealing. They both give your social media updates the “second life” and let you get better involved into your social media friends’ activities. However the two apps are hardly competitors.
Zite and Flipboard can not be actually compared. They can only be used for different purposes. Zite is best for discovery whereas Flipboard is best for keeping up with your social media contacts’ news. I am currently using both and don’t see myself switching to one!