What publishers can learn from the success of Flipboard, Pulse and Zite

Marijn Deurloo

The success of mobile apps like Flipboard, Pulse and Zite has largely set the tone for a new phase in digital publishing. Consumers are not only expecting digital versions of their favorite print magazines these days, they are looking for personalized content experiences that they can read on any platform or device. imgZine set out to help publishers and brands deliver real time content experiences on mobile, inspired by the innovative character of these apps. Let’s take a look at what these apps do differently and how publishers can learn from them.


Flipboard has become a global favorite. The app aggregates content from the user’s social network and Flipboard’s content partners. All content has been previously curated by Flipboard. Users simply select different categories to personalize their feed. While all of these apps define themselves as digital magazines, Flipboard is the only one that actually lets users ‘flip’ through different content pages, emulating the traditional magazine reading experience.


Pulse lets users add their own content sources and social media feeds. The app also suggests content from over 200 enrolled publishers. Pulse differs from Zite and Flipboard mainly in the way that it presents the content. While Flipboard and Zite resemble newspapers and magazines, Pulse displays content in a mosaic, focusing less on text and more on images. Pulse has also been praised for its advanced bookmarking and read-it-later capabilities.


Zite pulls content from the users’ social networks and prioritizes it based on their interests. It then organizes it into a layout that resembles a traditional newspaper and has a powerful recommendation algorithm that analyzes users’ behavior to suggest the most relevant stuff. Like Flipboard and Pulse, Zite has content partners that include The Next Web, The Daily Beast, Fox Sports and its mother company CNN among others. Unlike Pulse and Flipboard, Zite does not allow users to add their own personal social media feeds or blogs.

imgZine combines advanced reading behavior metrics with a powerful Zite-inspired recommender engine and the personalization offered by Flipboard and Pulse. Using our platform, publishers and enterprises can launch their own real time magazines, pulling content from their own content sources or preferred media outlets while letting users customize their feeds to suit their interests.

Our solution combines the top three reasons behind the success of these apps:

1. A better reading experience

Real time content experiences, like those offered by Pulse, Zite, Flipboard and imgZine, offer a seamless reading experience. Users can browse different articles from a single place within the app. Content is optimized to fit on tablets and smartphones and articles are also easier to share and bookmark.

2. A new way of personalization

Personalization is key to enticing today’s savvy and content hungry readers, and should be a key incentive for publishers to choose real time content apps instead of basic digital replicas. The best form of personalization, as Zite’s CEO Mark Johnson says, “ought to be a passive thing.” The product or software should pay attention to the types of articles readers click on, how long they spend reading them and whether they share them with friends. In turn, understanding your target audience’s needs will lead to longer reading times, higher engagement levels and ultimately better results. Pulse, Zite and Flipboard made a good start with this and we are keen on helping publishers embrace personalization to gain a better understanding of their target audience’s needs.

3. Higher engagement

Curated content experiences are also known to drive engagement, especially on mobile devices. Flipboard, for instance, plays a critical role in helping brands engage with their audiences on mobile through curated content. imgZine also draws on mobile’s unique capabilities to help clients deliver their content in an engaging way. Publishers can leverage our platform to expand their readership and engage with their audience on today’s relevant channels and devices. Enterprises can also use our solution to optimize their communications and provide engaging content experiences for their customers.

Interested in learning more? Contact our team or leave a message below.

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