Google wants its online news site to feel more like the good old print product.
And the company is prepared to pay for it.
Google took the wraps off of Fast Flip on Monday, a slick online tool that lets readers flip through articles from newspapers and magazines as quickly and effortlessly as if they were turning the pages of a magazine.
Obsessive Google-watchers may recall that rumors of this product emerged back in June.
But the company officially released Fast Flip on Monday, making it available on Google Labs, the company’s outlet for products that are still in the testing phase.
Google is essentially hosting images of the first page of various articles from its partner publishers. A Web surfer can browse by topic or news source and scroll through fast-loading snapshots of all the relevant articles. There’s a “recommended” section that aggregates the most popular articles thanks to a new recommendation tool that Google has added (watch out Digg!).