The first mention of a social news app from Google came in a Google+ post yesterday by tech watcher Robert Scoble. He wrote:

I heard from someone working with Google that Google is working on a Flipboard competitor for both Android and iPad. My source says that the versions he’s seen so far are mind-blowing good. 

The news prompted AllThingsD’s Kara Swisher to dig for more clues. The service is code-named Propeller, Swisher learned:

Google is indeed working on rolling out the new product, which is currently called Propeller. Sources said Propeller is apparently one of a number of new socially focused announcements Google is prepping, including new apps.

The app should launch in the near future because Facebook is also unveiling a social publishing platform of its own next week. It was not immediately clear at the time of this writing how Propeller ties with Google+, if at all. Given the company’s strong social focus and the fact that Propeller is being described as a social news app, it would seem logical to incorporate at least Google+ sharing features.

9to5Google learned from people familiar with the project that Propeller will boast a prettified interface, as is a norm with its high-end rivals Flipboard and Pulse. Publishers will be able to package their content for distribution right within their web browser, using a dedicated web app. Layout options are said to include multiple layouts to target various tablet and phone brands, including iPhone and iPad. Navigation capabilities will include individual articles, table of contents, as well as browsing custom-made sections that curate multiple articles. Images, video and other rich media types are also at disposal.

Publishers will also be able to…

…inject AdSense ad units into Propeller editions of their publications and collect user and usage info via email and Google Analytics, respectively. Sources told 9to5Google that publishers could even be able to sell individual articles to readers for a small fee, collected via the Google Checkout mechanism. Such a tight integration between Google’s payment, analytics and advertising services and publishers’ content should allow for rich monetization options and greater flexibility and engagement from readers.

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9 Responses to “More details on Propeller, Google’s Flipboard-killer for Android and iOS devices”

  1. Stijn says:

    Didn't they try this already in Google Reader? There was a Labs feature called 'Play' which failed to catch on.

  2. blakeco123 says:

    this is exactly why i don't like google (i only read this website so i can keep up on news) they have no need to enter this market of social media, yet they do it. not to earn money but to drive others out of business.

    • ben says:

      If you don't know stuff, ask before embarrassing yourself with a comment like this. Flipboard is trying to disrupt display advertising. This is direct competition to Google's core business model.

      • blakeco123 says:

        Oh my god… First off I'm not embarrassing my self, googles core buisnesss model is to serve up search results with ads on the side of them, flipboard aims to combine your favorite website (weather it be social media, or the New York Times) in to an easy to read "e-magazine"

      • KidPhat says:

        Yea, but how do you think they (Flipboard) play on making money from their platform? Display Ads, like Ben stated. To put it simple, any place where online and advertising intersect, you best be getting ready for a me-too act from Google.

        I absolutely love Google, but with this I have come to the realization that Google is the Agent Smith of the internet Matrix.

      • blakeco123 says:

        So pretty much every website is after google? because almost every website on the internet displays ads.

    • Dave Parks says:

      Yeah, you said 'disrupt' in a way that was meant to be taken seriously.
      That pretty much looses any credibility you might have had with anyone that isn't a VC whore or a SEO douchebag.

  3. dlorenzet says:

    you lost me and all credibility at this statement: " Given the company’s strong social focus and the fact that Propeller is being described as a social news app, it would seem logical to incorporate at least Google+ sharing features." You need to step away from the Googleplex and get some air outside of Mountainview.

    • KidPhat says:

      I think your problem is reading comprehension. The sentence you quoted is 100% correct. At least of late, Google has had a strong focus on social (or social focus). No where in the statement was strength implied.