With its latest update, Magzter is unveiling a more article-centric way to browse its library of digital magazines.
Seems like a pretty obvious move, right? Sure, there are people who still read magazines cover to cover (says the guy whose apartment is filled with back issues of Wired and The New Yorker), but as Magzter co-founder and President Vijay Radhakrishnan put it, most of us “don’t crave to read a magazine that way.”
What’s cool about Magzter’s new article format is the fact it’s optimized for wherever the article is being displayed. Radhakrishnan showed me articles on both his smartphone and tablet, and they looked good (the layout reminded me of Flipboard or a well-designed news website). In comparison, digital newsstand service Texture released a new version with individual articles last fall, but those articles are basically just bookmarked PDFs from a larger magazine, which don’t always look great on smaller screens.
The new feature is available to anyone with a subscription to Magzter Gold, the company’s Netflix-style service with all-you-can-read access to its library of magazines.
Behind the scenes, Radhakrishnan said Magzter has developed a technology to automatically create these article layouts from a PDF, though human editors still have final approval. magzter will also allow you to browse articles based on topic, to perform a full-text search and to share individual articles on social media. (You get 10 free articles each month on Magzter, so people can follow your link without paying.)Initially, Magzter is curating the top articles from about 250 magazines in the United States, but again, Radhakrishnan said the process is completely scalable — the company is holding back for now to avoid completely overwhelming users with content.
Of course, when you talk about things like article-centric browsing and full-text search, it starts to sound like Magzter is just catching up with the web itself. The difference is the service’s library of thousands of magazines. If you like enough of the content, and if you can’t find all of it online, then the subscription price of $9.99 can seem like a pretty good deal.