Google Fast Flip and our Thumbnail Overlords

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Page thumbnails in SafariThat’s the thumbnail view you get in Safari, Apple’s web browser, when you open a new tab. The confluence of these two ideas suggest that, as the processing power and bandwidth develops to do these things on the fly, some form of thumbnail, graphical view on updated content might have a role in our browsing experience. And FastFlip may well be Google’s first, tentative step in that direction.

But FastFlip is not and, I think, will not be the saviour of traditional journals migrating online. The problem remains that the views you generated with the service are a little bit like a traditional webpage, but without all the useful bits like links. I have a sneaking suspicion that the web has already settled on the reverse chronological model pioneered in blogs and now the bedrock of Twitter and Facebook as its default method of delivering timely information. The River of News is flowing strongly. This page of thumbnails looks suspiciously like a hobby.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.