— Internet News

Flipboard rolls out newsfeed personalization tools to save you from doomscrolling – TechCrunch

Facebook is preparing to adjust its News Feed to de-emphasize political posts and current events. Still, newsreader Flipboard is instead rolling out an update that puts users in control of their feeds. This morning, the company announced the launch of a new controller on the cover of its main newsfeed, aka the “For You” feed, which now allows users to select new topics to follow and deselect those they no longer want to hear about. The feature, which Flipboard dubs “an antidote to room scrolling,” allows users to customize their For You feed to deliver a more comprehensive selection of stories related to their interests instead of focusing their home page on breaking news and politics.

Given today’s current events — a pandemic dragging on, climate change-induced wildfires and significant storms, the fall of Afghanistan, and other disasters — it’s no wonder why people want to take a break from the daily news. But for Flipboard, that trend could also mean reduced use of its news-reading app. But while Flipboard notes that millions do use its app to keep up with breaking stories and politics, most of its user base also spends their time engaging with other topics — like travel, food, photography, fitness, and parenting. By introducing tools allowing users to customize their feeds, the company believes users will see improved mental health and spend a long time in the Flipboard app. This is already accurate, based on other recent changes Flipboard has made.


The company recently introduced topic personalization features, which allowed users to zero in on more niche interests — think, not just cooking but keto cooking, not just health, but mindfulness and sleep, for example. Users who customized their preferences spent between 9 and 12 minutes per day reading stories about these topics, on average, Flipboard found. With the launch of For You newsfeed controls, Flipboard wants to bring similar customization and control to users’ homepages. The company said the feature also addresses the number one request from users — they’ve been asking to have more control over the content selection in their For You feed.

To use the feature, look for the new filter toggles at the top of the main page. After tapping the icon, you’ll be launched into a window where you can tap and untap a range of topics. You can also use the search bar to discover other interests that may not be listed. After customizing, you’ll tap “Save” to return to your newly customized For You feed. Flipboard hopes its customization capabilities will help it stand out from other news reading experiences, whether browsing social media feeds or even in dedicated news reading apps.

“This level of content control is unique to Flipboard; just think about how hard it is to adjust your feed on any other platform,” noted Flipboard CEO Mike McCue when introducing the update. “A highly personalized feed empowers people to focus on the things that matter to them without being distracted by room scrolling, misinformation, or browsing other people’s lives. We build a platform that lets people take control of their media consumption rather than letting it control them,” he added.

Katie Axon

After leaving the corporate world to pursue my dreams, I started writing because it helped me organize and express myself. It also allowed me to connect with people who share my passion for art, travel, fashion, technology, health, and food. I currently write on vexsh, a site focused on sharing and discovering what it means to be a creative, passionate person living in today's digital age.

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