Earlier this year, the rather excellent aggregation iPad app Zite was acquired by the other rather less than excellent app for aggregation, Flipboard. And that’s the problem: great app versus not so great app.
So what will happen? Flipboard claims they will integrate the algorithms that make Zite so good into the Flipboard app. And they will shutter Zite.
Why they couldn’t just continue both—while improving Flipboard with Zite’s best under-the-hood mechanisms—is beyond me. Why sacrifice quality and an elegant UI (user interface) for Flipboard’s business plan metrics? Can’t they figure out how to run both successfully and benefit from the broader market penetration?
Many businesses do this; you didn’t see Starbucks buying Teavana and folding teas into its existing stores so it can shut Teavana down. Granted that Flipboard is not nearly as capitalized or as ubiquitous as Starbucks yet there are plentiful examples that Flipboard could have handled the buyout plan differently.
Why is Zite so great? Well if you haven’t already, download it to your iPad and compare it to Flipboard: both the functionality and the search results for topics that you can follow.
Flipboard may go a bit wider in some choices but Zite learns from what you like so it can go much deeper into the subject areas; it better targets the delivery results to eliminate more of the irrelevant ones that can get caught up in casting a search net. And that is why I find such utility in Zite. It simply gives me more of the results I want. Plus it provides a much more comfortable interface through its visual layout and esthetic. And that means a whole lot when you rely on using something many times throughout each day.
Can we stop Flipboard from making this mistake? Join me on Twitter to petition: #SaveZite