Flipboard Deploys News Feed Customization Tools To Avoid Doomscrolling – TechCrunch
Facebook is getting ready to adjust their news feed to focus on political messages and current events, but Flipboard Newsreader is rolling out an update instead that lets users control their own feeds. The company this morning announced the launch of a new controller on the cover of its own main news feed, aka the “For You” feed, which now allows users to select new topics to follow and deselect those whose they don’t want to hear any more. The functionality, which Flipboard calls “an antidote to doomscrolling, ”Allows users to customize their For You feed to offer a wider selection of stories related to their various interests, instead of focusing their home page on breaking news and politics.
Given current events – a dragging pandemic, forest fires and major storms induced by climate change, the fall of Afghanistan and other disasters – it’s no wonder people want to do a break from the daily news. But for Flipboard, this trend could also mean reduced use of its newsreader app.
But while Flipboard notes that millions of people use its app to keep up with the latest stories and policies, the majority of its user base also spends their time engaging on other topics – like travel, food, etc. photography, fitness and parenting.
By introducing tools that allow users to customize their own feeds, the company believes users will not only see an improvement in their sanity, but also spend more time in the Flipboard app. Already, this appears to be true, based on other recent changes made by Flipboard.
The company recently introduced topic customization features, which allowed users to focus on more niche interests – think, not just cooking corn keto cooking; not only health, corn mindfulness and to sleep, for example. Users who personalized their preferences spent between nine and 12 minutes per day reading stories on these topics, on average, found Flipboard.
With the launch of the For You news feed controls, Flipboard wants to bring a similar level of personalization and control to user homepages.
The company said the feature also meets the main demand from users – they have requested more control over the selection of content in their For You feed.
To use the feature, you’ll look for the new filter toggles at the top of the main page. After tapping on the icon, you will be launched into a window where you can tap and clear a range of topics. You can also use the search bar to find other interests that may not be listed. Once the personalization is complete, simply press “Save” to return to your newly personalized For You feed.
Flipboard hopes its customization capabilities will help it stand out from other news reading experiences, whether it’s browsing the news in social media feeds or even in dedicated news reader apps.
“This level of content control is unique to Flipboard; just think about the difficulty of adjusting your feed on any other platform, ”noted Flipboard CEO Mike McCue when introducing the update. “A highly personalized feed allows people to focus on the things that matter to them, without being distracted by doomscrolling, misinformation, or browsing the lives of others. We are building a platform that allows people to take control of their media consumption rather than letting them control it, ”he added.