Three billion flips later, Flipboard turns to video

Tablet content aggregators like Flipboard and Zite have found favor by re-imagining modern web text as linear pages of ye olde magazines. But can the same paradigm work for other online content?

Flipboard on Wednesday launched what it is calling “TV” channels – curated sections of its Content Guide sidebar that include only videos, no text, culled from popular YouTube channels.

In one way, this is nothing new – articles read through Flipboard can already contain videos. What is notable is that Flipboard is making a specific play for audiovisual content inside its magazine-like applications.

How well this will work remains to be seen. On my iPad 2, Flipboard presents videos fractionally more sluggishly than outside; orientation rotation is noticeably slower.

Most of all, will people associate video with the page-turning paradigm of Flipboard’s retro-magazine aesthetic? Perhaps so – the swipe and flip interaction is characteristic of tablets in their entirety, not just magazine-like apps that run on them.

With its “TV” channels, Flipboard may get to do for video publishers like, TED Talks and Pitchfork TV what it is doing for web text publishers. More importantly, it shows Flipboard beginning to mature and diversify.

The video foray comes after Flipboard released second-birthday statistics – 20 million users flipping three billion pages per month, spending an average 86 minutes per month and making 14.5 million social actions from the content they read.

Disclosure: GigaOmni Media content is available through Flipboard.