DailyTech went to Google
Fast Flip and took it for a spin. Basically, the site works as
a preview engine, publishing articles from several sources as PNG
format images, which you can scroll through via arrows on the left
and right of the frame. Like Google
News, both top stories and news by categories are offered.
the service indeed allows for fast reading, it has several major
annoyances. The first is that you have to click a link to get
the full story -- the Fast Flip only gives you a page-sized
screenshot of the story (how about a scroll option, Google?).
Second, you get less stories than Google News, both in terms of
number of articles, and sources (only select partners show up).
Finally, the switch lags just enough that it doesn't really feel
"fast" -- something that PC World's David Coursey also
The upsides are that if you just want to scan bits
of the story, you can often get the gist of the story from the
excerpt, in which case the service could, in theory, speed up your
read times. Another upside is that the ads are relatively
unobtrusive, with no ad-words present on the articles we
Google hopes to gain both advertising money and
greater control over advertising content with the new service.
For that reason they're giving their
partners -- TechCrunch, The New York Times, Fast Company and
Business Week (and others -- 39 in total, with DailyTech not
currently being a member) -- a share of the ad revenue from Fast Flip
ad clicks. In this respect, Google is placing itself as the
middleman for online news advertising, even more so than with Google
News. This is a deal with the devil, in a sense, for
publications as they may gain revenue, but they'll lose control of
advertising on at least part of their traffic.
very hot on Google Fast Flip. The aforementioned Mr. Coursey
comments, "Google's new Fast Flip news-er interface is a bit of
a puzzle. It doesn't seem very fast and also doesn't flip pages, but
slides them across the screen...Fast Flip has, for now, limited
itself to a fairly narrow set of partner publications. This will suck
if Fast Flip becomes the standard Google newsreader and the
publications you like aren't included."
we're a bit more reserved about the new service. While it's no
Google News, it does have its strengths. And it seems unlikely
that the Google would kill Google News and replace it with Fast
Flip. Google Fast Flip is a fun toy to try out and see if it
helps your news reading -- try it yourself and draw your own