Flipboard App Now Provides People in the United States and Canada Access to Local News Sources Based on Their Location
REDWOOD CITY, Calif., March 2, 2021 — Flipboard scales its local coverage to more than 1,000 cities, towns and regions across the United States and Canada. With this dramatic expansion, from 60 metro areas at the end of October, Flipboard now provides access to local content sources and stories for more than 1,000 cities, towns and communities in the United States and Canada, including all of Nielsen’s 210 Designated Market Area (DMA) regions. The newest version of the Flipboard app matches a person’s location with local stories such as political updates, COVID-19 news, weather forecasts, sporting highlights, and dining recommendations based on proximity.
Starting today, Flipboard users in the U.S. and Canada who update to the latest version of the app are prompted to enable location, and immediately see up to 15 relevant regional and local topics. Once users select cities of interest, Flipboard automatically adds them to their Following tab, and surfaces the latest local stories in their For You feed.
“The recent crisis in Texas has again shown the importance of local news, both to provide citizens with reliable information about a crisis and where to go for help as well as to hold leaders accountable,” said Mike McCue, Flipboard’s CEO. “With this launch we’re making local information easier to keep up with by bringing together thousands of sources, big and small, all in one place.”
Combining linguistic and media research methodologies, content curation expertise and GPS technology has made this rapid scaling from 60 to 1,000 cities possible. Flipboard’s data quality team spent significant time curating local sources based on geographic regions such as the 392 metropolitan statistical areas defined by the United States Office of Management and Budgets; the list 384 cities with a population larger than 100,000; and 210 DMAs, geographic areas in the United States in which local television viewing is measured by Nielsen. Behind-the-scenes work for Flipboard TV, which added videos from local television stations four months ago organized in 60 DMAs, laid the groundwork for today’s launch.
The names of regions also spurred the creation of local topics; any source the curation team adds to a local topic is semantically analyzed and indexed, which means that articles from local publishers are distributed across the platform in relevant topic feeds. Similarly, once a new local topic is created, relevant content from national sources will automatically be added to it, along with stories from blogs, TV stations, Flipboard Magazines curated by users and even Twitter accounts.
“So much of what Flipboard provides to users is relevance, so the expansion of local coverage was a no-brainer. Our algorithms are designed to understand what each piece of content, even video, is about,” said Marty Rose, data quality analyst at Flipboard. “Additionally, we’ve built a service that connects GPS data to content based on proximity, further supporting local publishers to reach their audience. The overlapping maps of geographic areas form the basis for the association between location and coverage.”
Aligned with its core values, Flipboard applies a privacy-centric approach to its new location feature. Users are prompted to opt in and can choose ‘coarse’ accuracy; their historical location data is not stored on Flipboard’s servers. Further, the app only requests location data when the app is in use and even then only a few times per hour.
Flipboard is an award-winning curation platform, where people go to understand our time and share the stories that are worth our time. On Flipboard quality articles, videos, podcasts and products are curated every day for millions of people around the world. It is a platform that lets people spend time on their interests, develop deeper understanding and share the best ideas with others by collecting them into their own Flipboard Magazines and Storyboards. Download Flipboard for free in any app store or visit flipboard.com.