Fast Company

Yahoo's New Digital Tablet Newsstand Takes on Flipboard, Google, Apple

Yahoo Livestand

In the wake of AOL purchasing the Huffington Post and News Corp. unveiling The Daily, Yahoo is looking to regain some footing in the digital news marketplace. Today, the company introduced Livestand, a personalized digital newsstand for tablets and mobile phones.

According to Yahoo, the e-newsstand will "offer new content to consumers based on their interests." It will be cross-platform, meaning publishers and advertisers can push content across a variety of devices, from the iPad to Android-based tablets.

With this new product, Yahoo joins Apple, Google, and a growing number of tech giants who see potential profit in creating a centralized hub for digital news, similar to what iTunes did for digital music or the Kindle store for ebooks.

But Yahoo may also be taking aim at a different, fast-growing competitor in this field: Flipboard. The "personalized, social magazine" platform for the iPad pulls content from around the web based on your interests and social graph--and Yahoo's Livestand riffs on that same idea.

The platform will offer content based on "interests, time of day, and location," as well as "social interactions." Yahoo promises the service will cut through the "noise of the web" to deliver personalized content--heck, the word "personalized" crops up roughly a half-dozen times throughout the press release.

From the app preview shown we saw, the Livestand will take a very Flipboard approach to design, too, with a user interface featuring lots of aggregated content under sleek, splashy graphics.

During the announcement Thursday, Irv Henderson, VP of product for mobile, emphasized that the platform is "executed in a way that is elegant and beautiful," and that will bring together "the best of magazines and the best of the web" with freshness, personalization, and social."

"We need to take what makes magazines did great, and add what makes the web great--fresh news and social,” seconded Blake Irving, executive VP and chief product officer for Yahoo.

Livestand will go live in the first half of 2011.

Additional reporting by E.B. Boyd.

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