Monday, September 14, 2009

Google Flips, Microsoft sorta does too?

Google today announced a new experiment in Google Labs dubbed Google Fast Flip.

Essentially a collection of websites from newspapers, magazines, already out-of-print magazines (and a few Internet-only resources), Fast Flip wants to make it easy for you to 'Flip' through current front pages of various publications and select which ones you want to view.

Fast Flip's launch line-up is very limited for a product grouped by category but Google is inviting YOUR feedback to this Google News Feedback Form.  (The complete list of launch sources, as of this post, can be found here).

It's almost a given that the initial feedback will come from publications that didn't make the first cut (and/or loyal readers of those publications).

Essentially Fast Flip is a visual aggregator of Google Partner websites competing in a sense with such products as Alltop, TechMeMe and PopUrls, but with a visual flair.  It also appears to be updating very frequently (as in 'almost' real-time) which could be part of the project's goal.

A picture is worth a thousand words?

Also on the visual web-based front on the same day, Microsoft launched it's new Bing search product Visual Search Beta at today's TechCrunch TC50 Conference.

The new Bing search offering brings to mind the visual search product CoolIris (formerly PicLens) with similar functionality. While CoolIris still clearly stands out as a useful, refined, fun and time-saving product, Visual Search gets a different edge by have their own search product integrated.

Both Google and Microsoft continue to deliver new format products, most likely to see if any generate a significant enough buzz to take to the next level.

While Bing's entry today was more fun and interesting to test out, it's a safe bet that hundreds of publications across all media are knocking on Google's door tonight wanting to be part of Fast Flip.

In fact, it's not a stretch to think of a few hard-working current Google partners that might be Fast Flipping out right about now ....