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March 07, 2014

CNN's Zite News Reader Sold to Flipboard Social Magazine Generator

By Matt Paulson, TMCnet Contributing Writer

In a deal that could see an estimated value of approximately $60 million over time, CNN has sold their news reader app Zite to social magazine app Flipboard (News - Alert). Flipboard generates customized magazines for their subscribers by aggregating content pulled from various social networks and news sites. Their goal is to capitalize on Zite’s unique personalization technology, which will filter the results for a custom magazine based on the user’s interests. This data would be pulled from several sources, including the user’s social networks and frequently visited websites.

Flipboard will be launching custom magazines that are based upon several existing CNN shows to choose from, so that users will have some control over the content of their personalized magazine’s initial settings. Users will choose from their favorite CNN anchors like Fareed Zakaria and John King to deliver the news topics that interest users the most, and from there will be able to approve or ignore news stories as the program learns what interests that particular user the most.

The Zite mobile reader was acquired by CNN in 2011 in order to bring news to a quickly expanding mobile market, but now that market has grown and apps like Zite are much more profitable investments. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue said that “By bringing the Zite team and technology to Flipboard, we can deliver an even more personalized experience to every Flipboard reader.”

With support from Zite, Flipboard will be able to create a product that customizes content for readers into a convenient and popular format. Today’s mobile device users have a large selection of choices for where they get their news sources from, Flipboard hopes that their ability to create personalized magazines for each subscriber will catapult them head and shoulders above the competition.

Edited by Cassandra Tucker
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