Steve Green will have more on this later, but I wanted to jump in with a few first impressions.
The biggest one is that the interface itself isn’t that surprising or unusual. For the techies, they’re making good use of HTML5, but don’t appear to be doing anything too radical. (I’ll be interested to see if they use HTML5 local storage.)
The interface has a general magazine-like look and feel: it’s a cover, and pages you “turn” with a finger swipe. There is an overall index, implemented with a 3D image carousel — I linked a random example there if you want to see what I mean — and some integration with the rest of the social media universe, but nothing much that I saw that’s unusual. The main difference appears to be that it’s purpose-built front to back to be active, interactive, and integrate all the content in an intuitive way.
Okay, this is going to be amusing. I wonder if we can set up a trackback loop and alter the space-time continuum?
Roger isn’t impressed with the content. Steve doesn’t like the interface. My opinion of it may be less strong than he thinks, but I was more interested if they were trying to do anything technically innovative, and the answer to that is No. In fact, I would bet that it’s entirely a Webkit app — which is to say it’s basically a packaged Safari browser with some graphical sugar.
I still like the numbers, though. If Murdoch (thanks for the spellign correction, Roger) can get a million subscribers, that’s still $50 million plus a year — he can buy a helluva lot of content and technical for that and still make money like a bandit.