Whenever a search engine briefs me with big news, I've come to wonder - "What will Google come up with to try and steal their thunder?"
Today was no exception. After Bing announced its Visual Search and Ask announced Search for the Cure, sure enough the web was buzzing with news of Google Fast Flip.
Of course, this unveiling had more to do with taking on Bing and Visual Search than Ask. Fast Flip is a Google Labs project that is like Searchme or Viewzi where you browse pages before you click and read. However, it's focused on news, whereas Searchme and Viewzi are for all niches. The idea is that you "flip" through newspapers and magazines, on the internet.
It doesn't look like it took much to code up Fast Flip, which leads to even more suspicion that it was a knee-jerk reaction to Bing's news. But that hasn't stopped the usual ogling from media and bloggers who react with infatuation at anything Google releases.
The New York Times seems to think that this is Google attempting to appease newspaper publishers, which is, at least, a plausible explanation. But trying to take people to an old way of flipping through print materials instead of progressing on how people are actually consuming the news on the internet is not going to work.
Check out Fast Flip for yourself and then come back and let us know what you think.