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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Flipboard Launches as the iPad’s Social Media Magazine

By: Ben Parr

With backing from several heavy hitters and an acquisition, Flipboard has kicked off its quest to become the new and vibrant way you browse your social media streams.

Flipboard, which is now available in the iPad app store, is a start-up that calls itself the “world’s first social magazine.” It connects to your social media accounts — primarily Facebook () and Twitter () — and utilizes that information to create an interface that will feel familiar if you’re a magazine lover. It officially launches today.

Flipboard takes popular news sources (specifically the ones you choose) as well as your Twitter and Facebook feed to provide to create a unique web browsing experience. Moving through the interface is a simple as flipping the page. Items shared on Facebook are suddenly turned into magazine articles and multimedia is immediately made front-and-center.

Here’s an example of what you might find simply browsing through your Twitter and Facebook feeds via Flipboard:

Coinciding with the Flipboard launch are two big announcements: first, the startup has raised $10.5 million in a Series A round including KPCB, Index Ventures, The Chernin Group, Jack Dorsey (Twitter’s creator), Dustin Moskovitz (Facebook’s co-founder) and Aston Kutcher.

Second, it has acquired Ellerdale, a real-time web intelligence startup, and made co-founder Arthur van Hoff its CTO. Ellerdale’s semantic analysts technology will help Flipboard choose and organize the most relevant stories for the readers.

I am thoroughly impressed from our first run with Flipboard. It is simply gorgeous and a pleasure to browse. I could the app open for hours just watching my feeds pass by. If I wanted to scan the key news from my social networks, this is the way I would want to do it.

Would you use an app like this to browse your social media feeds? Let us know what you think of the app in the comments.