Flipboard has added a new feature that enables anyone to merge product content with editorial on the same magazine. The goal is to help readers better “discover, collect, and buy” items that they might find relevant in their lives. This feature is available today for Flipboard’s iOS and Android apps.
Previously, magazine creators could only curate editorial content, but Flipboard wanted to offer a new way to allow product-specific listings to be included so that readers could not only read, but also make purchases from publications. In the wake of its version 2.0 launch that introduced the company’s “do-it-yourself” model, the company has seen 4.5 million magazines created by users — these are publications that have a specific theme tied to it and it might behoove a curator to include relevant product items in their magazine that readers might also find fascinating.
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When you come across a listing to add via the Web and use Flipboard’s “flip.it” button, it will prompt you to enter the price tag and the image that you want to display. The reason for this is because on non-partner sites, it might be difficult for Flipboard to read the meta data to decipher the product price, so it’s giving manual control to the user.
Initially, creators cannot set the placement order for these product listings in their magazines. When added through Flipboard’s app or through the bookmarklet, it is arranged so that the latest thing added shows up first. However, the service’s Web-based editor tool can help creators rearrange placement later on.
To kickstart things off, Flipboard has teamed with celebrities and some top retail brands, including fashion designer Cynthia Rowley, singer Sara Evans, chef Daniel Boulud, actress Alyssa Milano, Banana Republic, Birchbox, eBay, Fab, and ModCloth. Existing partners Levi’s and Etsy are also participating.
Here’s what company CEO Mike McCue had to say:
By partnering with retail brands that understand the value of curation and presentation, we are able to kick off shopping with some incredible new content for our readers to browse, buy or share. User studies show that people want to shop on Flipboard, and since the introduction of magazine curation, one of the most received request is to add products to a magazine.
When you come across these product listings, it will either take you to a well-placed layout on Flipboard or directly to the retailer’s website — it depends on if the retailer is a partner with the service.
Both retailers and the public can see who has “reflipped” a particular product as well, enabling you to track back to who was the first person to add it to Flipboard.
McCue tells us that there currently are no affiliate fees if a reader purchases a product from Flipboard, but his team is looking into the possibility.
Today’s update comes as Flipboard is seeing continued growth and adoption of its platform. It now has over 90 million users and is adding 250,000 users each day — a 5 million increase from the last reported count in September.
Photo credit: Shutterstock and Flipboard
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