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News Aggregation App Showdown: Flipboard vs. Zite

November 1, 2012
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Posted by Christine Manfrede

In the ever-growing world of information overconsumption, personalized content simply rocks. Thankfully you can cut out the fat and get knowledge automatically tailored to what you want and need. Even better, you can tune in and discover content you didn’t even know would interest and/or affect you.

Currently, I have two newsreader app addictions—Flipboard and Zite. I use them on my iPhone and iPad. Both apps are magazine-style content aggregators that give me my daily content fix. Based on shared content, Flipboard uses an algorithm based on popularity to filter your feeds and find articles you’ll find useful. It also takes into account the amount of time you linger at particular websites. On the other hand, Zite aims to improve your newsreader experience over time. It begins by tailoring content based on your Twitter and Google Reader accounts. From there, it determines what you like and provides you with other content that you’re most likely to want—even need—to know. The more you use it, the better it gets. Used together, Flipboard and Zite give me nearly all the news and information I deem necessary, personally and professionally, without drowning me in a flood of uselessness.

Categorical picks for each app and why:

DESIGN: Flipboard   Flip-style page simulation, minimalist UI design, big photos, fluent and fun.

CONTENT: Zite   Offers a thumbs-up or thumbs-down choice to rate articles, so it gets better at suggesting content the more you use it.

SOCIAL MEDIA: Flipboard   Pulls from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Google Reader, Flickr, LinkedIn and 500px feeds. It also allows you to comment, like and share content.  Note: Once you start viewing your Facebook and Twitter feeds this way, you may forget about going to their native apps.

CUSTOMIZATION: Flipboard   Allows you to add independent sources like RSS updates or blogs.

I prefer Flipboard for a quick overview of what is happening currently, while I tend to use Zite when seeking interesting content that may not necessarily be part of the “daily” news. Flipboard enables me to keep up with friends and family, where as Zite is a great tool for discovering news you didn’t realize you were missing. Both have saved me time and helped me stick to a lean, nutritious information diet.

They are each definitely worth giving a try.

Notable contenders:

Google Currents / Prismatic / Feedly / News360

Go ahead. Take them both for a spin. You’ll be glad you did. Did I mention they are both free?

Download FlipboardDownload Zite

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