Google launches Living Stories, teams up with two major papers

Credit: Google
Credit: Google

Today, Google launched Living Stories, an experimental new feature that is aimed to make your online reading take on a whole new level.

Teaming up with two media partners to start, the search giant gives users fresh news stories, editorials, updates and various multimedia that focuses on specific topics – all in one single page.

Each Living Story has a permanent URL with new stories and updates posted as it becomes available, making it easier for uses to keep track and follow. It also keeps track of each user’s activity, alerting them for updates they haven’t seen yet and graying out those that were already read. Each topic also has its own accessible timeline displaying historical view of the topic.

At present, Google has partnered with The New York Times and The Washington Post and they decide which topics appear on their own Living Story pages. Google however, has plans of creating open-source tools for other outlets to be given a chance to create their own Living Stories too.

According to the Times, if this experiment catches the fancy of people, it will give publishers another source of income as they can sell ads on their own pages. The NY Times is also very optimistic in this new partnership.

“It’s an experiment with a different way of telling stories,” Martin A. Nisenholtz, senior vice president for digital operations of The New York Times Company, said in a statement.

“I think in it, you can see the germ of something quite interesting.”


Faster online news with Google Fast Flip

“One problem with reading news online today is that browsing can be really slow. A media-rich page loads dozens of files and can take as much as 10 seconds to load over broadband, which can be frustrating,” observes Google News distinguished researcher Krishna. So what do they do?

They found a way to make reading online news faster and more accessible through Fast Flip.

This recent experiment from Google Labs makes browsing news easier by laying out the news articles in a print-like fashion, allowing users to “flip sequentially through bundles of recent news, headlines and popular topics and feeds from individual top publishers.

For the content, Bharat wrote in the official Google Blog that the company has partnered with three dozen publishers including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Washington Post, and Newsweek.

Fast Flip also has a mobile version for Android-powered devices and the iPhones, so people on the go can also experience this new way of reading news online.

“The publishing industry faces many challenges today, and there is no magic bullet. However, we believe that encouraging readers to read more news is a necessary part of the solution,” Bharat wrote.

“We think Fast Flip could be one way to help, and we’re looking to find other ways to help as well in the near future.”


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