|Weekly News Digest
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Scribd Launches Platform and iPaper Document Viewer
Scribd (www.scribd.com), a site for sharing documents on the internet (which claims to have more than 10 billion words of text uploaded), announced iPaper, a new document format built for the web. iPaper is a full-featured web-based document viewer that is said to be more like a YouTube video than it is like a PDF. Through a Flash widget that streams documents from Scribd’s servers, documents can be viewed directly in a browser without software downloads.
The primary design goals of iPaper were that it be fast, light, and easy to use. At 100 KB, the iPaper application is reportedly about 1/1,000th the size of Adobe’s Acrobat Reader software, making it a fast way to view documents. Despite the tiny size, iPaper integrates Scribd’s social features, like emailing and embedding, and an elegant security system that allows content owners to protect their work without clumsy DRM solutions. iPaper also builds on the features of PDF, including full-text search, copy/paste functionality, and various view modes and zooms.
The Scribd Platform is a set of tools that allows anyone to bring the iPaper experience to their own websites. The Scribd.com website allows individuals to publish their personal documents in iPaper; the Scribd Platform will allow any website to use iPaper internally. The Scribd Platform gives websites several ways to use iPaper, from the Scribd API for experienced developers to options that require no programming knowledge at all. In fact, using the QuickSwitch tool, users can insert one line of code into the webpage and convert every PDF on the site into an iPaper document in minutes.
Scribd’s iPaper technology also offers users the opportunity to monetize their documents through contextually relevant advertisements. Using Google’s AdSense advertising program, Scribd has successfully integrated AdSense ads in Flash into the iPaper viewer. Scribd doesn’t require users to download software upgrades to enable the service.
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