What Is Flipboard?

Discover the social media app that's beautiful as well as functional

An image of a person holding a smartphone while looking at the Flipboard app
The Flipboard app on an iPhone.

Erikona/Getty Images

Flipboard is the social news app people have been raving about for years. Staying informed about the topics that matter most to you has never been easier.

What Is the Flipboard App?

You can think of Flipboard as a smart magazine. Unlike traditional print magazines, Flipboard personalizes your content based on your interests, then displays relevant stories in a magazine-style layout that's both pleasing to the eye and easy to interact with. In addition to articles, you'll see other types of content including videos, podcasts, tweets, and more.

People can use Flipboard to create their own digital magazines to share with other users; as you read through the stories shown on Flipboard, you can easily add them to a new or existing magazine under your profile. Flipboard also lets you curate magazines based on a passion of yours, for specific sources, for sharing with a group or simply for creating a collection.

How It Works

Flipboard works by letting you quite literally flip through stories. It has a unique gesture-based flip function that flips the page when you swipe up/down or left/right on the screen, much like flipping the page of a real magazine.

Man looking at the Flipboard app on a tablet
Prykhodov / Getty Images

Stories appear in your home feed with an image, a headline, the source name, and how recently it was published. All you have to do is tap a story to expand it to read it in full.

Each story also includes a menu button represented by three dots in the lower right corner, allowing you to interact with the story. If you decide to "Like" a story or choose to see "Less like this," Flipboard will curate future stories for you based on your selection. You can also flip the story into a magazine or share it via social media.

How to Get Started

Download the free Flipboard app for iOS or Android, or sign up via a web browser at Flipboard.com. Flipboard will ask what your interests are by prompting you to select a few topics to follow; you can always unfollow these and add other topics later.

Flipboard will then fill your home feed with stories based on the topics you've chosen. From here, you can begin using the app.

How to Use It

On the Flipboard mobile app, you'll see five icons in the main menu at the bottom. Here's how you use them.

Two screenshots of the Flipboard app

Home (the house icon): This is where you'll find all of your stories; flip through them or pull down to refresh.

Following (the grid icon): Here's where you can see the topics, profiles, and accounts you're following. Use the search function at the top to find something or someone specific.

Search (the magnifying glass icon): This is the place to go to discover more topics and add them to your Flipboard. Tap a suggestion, then tap the red Follow button to follow it, or use the search function at the top to find a specific topic.

Notifications (the speech bubble icon): Remember Flipboard is a social app where you can follow other users and be followed. Activities like follows, likes on your stories, comments on your stories, and more will appear here.

Your Profile (the person icon): Here's where you get to show off; add a profile photo, a username, and a short bio. Similar to Instagram, magazines you curate will appear in a grid layout below your profile information.

Why You Should Use Flipboard

You might already get some of your news from other places online, such as by following news sources on social media, visiting individual sites, or subscribing to blogs. Flipboard, however, offers more benefits than these other ways of getting your news fix.

  • Keep your friends' lives separate from the news: News stories appearing on your Facebook or Twitter feed will be mixed in with the random posts from your friends and following. Although Flipboard is a social app, too, stories shown are always about news and don't include any friendly social updates.
  • Get the pleasant look and feel of a real newspaper or magazine: By far one of the biggest things attracting people to Flipboard is its unique layout and gesture-based flip functionality.
  • Get your news from reputable sources: Forget about finding news sources yourself because Flipboard does the work for you. When you follow a topic, you'll be shown the latest and most popular stories from leading sources around the world.
  • Personalize your news experience: Follow only the topics you're interested in, the users who curate great stories, and the social accounts you want to integrate into your news experience.
  • Become a news curator yourself: Remember you can create your own magazines on whichever topics you like and share them with the community if you want.

Lifewire publishes numerous Flipboard magazines. Have a tech topic you want to keep tabs on? Follow us on Flipboard: @lifewiretech