Google has taken the wraps off Fast Flip, technology that aims to provide "a new reading experience" by fusing together the best elements of online and print articles.
To create this new tech, which comes fresh from the Google Labs, the search giant partnered with 30 top publishers, including the BBC and the New York Times. The end result was Fast Flip, which allows users to more quickly consume online news by mirroring the way readers flick through conventional print publications and eliminating the sluggishness of slow net connections.
Fast Flip imitates traditional sources by providing screenshots of web pages containing related articles. The service also creates a personalised browsing experience for users by recommending additional content that reflects their personal preferences.
To make money, Fast Flip places contextualised advertisements around its pages, the revenue of which is shared by publishers. Fast Flip also tests Google's theory that faster access to articles means users will read more, thus generating more ad revenue for publishers.
While the company admits that there is no "magic bullet" to boosting the flailing publishing industry, the company said Google Fast Flip could be one way to help.
"The publishing industry faces many challenges today However, we believe that encouraging readers to read more news is a necessary part of the solution," wrote Krishna Bharat, a distinguished researcher with Google News.
Other publishers who have signed on include the Atlantic, the Washington Post, Salon, Fast Company, ProPublica, Cosmopolitan, Elle, and Newsweek.
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