Google’s latest project, which company insiders say is dubbed “Propeller,” is a social magazine news app that will target the highly successful Flipboard iPad app. Flipboard, which recently received $50 million in funding and a $200 million valuation, was named the iPad app of the year in 2010. This app reformats the content that is shared on Facebook and Twitter into an interactive digital magazine.
Recently, Google unsuccessfully attempted to buy Flipboard. During negotiations, Google threatened to build their own version of the social magazine app if Flipboard rejected their offer. Flipboard, who was not intimidated by Google’s threat of developing a similar app, joined Yelp, Groupon, and several other companies who have recently refused Google’s acquisition offers and chosen instead to remain independent.
A recent post by leading technology expert Robert Scoble confirms that Google is now developing a competing app:
“I heard from someone working with Google that Google is working on a Flipboard competitor for both Android and iPad. My source says that the versions he’s seen so far are mind-blowing good.”
Google is reportedly planning on releasing versions of the app for both Apple’s iPad and Google’s Android tablets. Since Facebook and Google have not been able reach a data exchange agreement, it is unclear what type of social data will be available on the Propeller app.
However, Google already owns one of the most popular news destinations in the world, Google News. Google will undoubtedly attempt to use their wide network of content and large user base to capture market share from Flipboard and other competitors.