Float Through Content Clutter with Reading App from Scribd

August 14, 2011

2:00 pm

With so much information being produced on news sites, blogs and social media, sorting through the content avalanche to find a good read can be tough. Thankfully, quite a few apps have sprung up to help us organize the clutter so we can actually enjoy our reading experience.

Float is a new iPhone and web app that allows you to read and share content from Twitter, Facebook, Scribd, and more than 150 publishers including Fortune, The Atlantic, Time, Scientific American and more. The digital reading platform was developed by Scribd and built to compliment its social reading site.

Float’s technology lets readers zoom in on text and scroll left to right, like scrolling through the pages of a book or magazine, even with text previously formatted for the web. Users can “float” through content, browsing information that is personalized to their unique reading style and environment, including settings for direct sunlight and eye strain.

Float accesses your social graph to make it easy to share and enjoy links from your friends. Using the web app, you can add a bookmarklet to your browser so you can “float” pages as you are viewing them. Using the “social tab,” you can read excerpts of articles your friends have shared on Twitter and Facebook, and you have complete access to your Scribd docs directly from the app as well.

What’s exciting about Float are Scribd’s lofty ambitions for the app. The company plans to become the ‘Netflix of reading’ by allowing users to pay a flat fee, giving them access to content they’d typically have to pay much more for.  

Check out the iPhone and web versions of Float, and look for apps for iPad and Android to be released later this year.

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Meg Rayford is a communications consultant based in Northern Virginia. She previously spent two years as the Director of Public Relations for a nonprofit startup, where she learned a lot about providing clean water for impoverished countries, even within the confines of a bootstrapped startup. She is the editor of Tech Cocktail, and she develops media strategies for companies in Washington, DC and Virginia. You can read her most recent work in the marketing chapter of the upcoming book, "Social Innovation and Impact in Nonprofit Leadership," which will be published in Spring 2014 by Springer Publishing. Follow her @megkrayford.

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