iPad for Marketing app review – StreamGlider
After an off-again/on-again rollout, the StreamGlider app is back on the market. Featuring a free, standard version as well as an ad-free pro version, it’s one of the latest entrants in the pantheon of news-and-social-media aggregators. How does it stack up against other go-to apps, such as Flipboard, Livestand, and Pulse?
The app opens to a clean matrix of images and headlines panning from left to right. Streams are stacked vertically down the page like filmstrips. Each stream is a different category – news, sports, tech, images – and each frame in the filmstrip is a feed.
Customizing streams and feeds is easy with intuitive, tap-to-add navigation. If the feed a user wants to add is featured on the landing pane, then they’re in luck – with a tap it appears in their stream. However, as the list of featured content providers is only about eight advertisers long, most likely users will need to browse for content at some point.
And this is where the app stumbles. While the app includes standard browsing buckets, several buckets don’t have many feeds from which to choose. If feeds readers wants are not on the list, they’ll need to do a search. But if their feed doesn’t advertise with StreamGlider, it won’t show up in a search. I tried all sorts of feed names and URLs, well known and obscure, and not one of them came up lucky. Even a search of “baseball” – an active topic with spring training around the corner – yielded nothing.
A similar mismatch occurs with StreamGlider’s social media sync. During start-up of both standard and pro versions, the app offers to sync with Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube accounts. Though it goes through the process of login/password, it doesn’t automatically pass the content through to a stream. Readers can manually add content from social media accounts, such as activity on Facebook. And while StreamGlider streams updates, it won’t prowl for news and information based on social media preferences or patterns.
Social media streams notwithstanding, users ought to wonder: If StreamGlider limits content to that of featured advertisers, will browsers find the app relevant?
It could be that StreamGlider wants to be a slick, customizable transport vehicle, rather than an aggregator. According to the website, interested parties can distribute private-labeled or co-branded content via StreamGlider to closed audiences. This model could be interesting for companies looking for a sure-fire way to reach customers or prospects who opt in to get tailored relevant content, such as a private-labeled corporate news magazine. But whether the app has real value for both consumers and publishers will depend on how well it’s able to marry the right content with the right audience.
The Overall Verdict
For users: C. The interface is well designed and easy to navigate, but the app’s relevance really depends on whether a user’s interests align with the featured advertisers.
For publishers: C. It’s disappointing that StreamGlider apparently only picks up feeds from advertisers. However, StreamGlider as a private-label distribution mechanism (where independent parties use the StreamGlider front-end to deliver content) resolves the relevance gap for both users and publishers. That’s A-range territory.