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This article was published on October 19, 2010

Wired’s iPad app to get a social overhaul inspired by Flipboard?

Wired’s iPad app to get a social overhaul inspired by Flipboard?
Martin Bryant
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Martin Bryant

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Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-qualit Martin Bryant is founder of Big Revolution, where he helps tech companies refine their proposition and positioning, and develops high-quality, compelling content for them. He previously served in several roles at TNW, including Editor-in-Chief. He left the company in April 2016 for pastures new.

Months after its first appearance in the App Store, Wired’s iPad incarnation is still widely regarded as one of the most successful transitions of a magazine from print to tablet computer. How is it going to develop further in the future though?

Jon Lund, an Internet advertising expert based in Denmark, wanted to find out and so recently emailed Wired editor Chris Anderson. Lund and Anderson had previously met last year when Anderson was promoting his book ‘Free’.

In the course of the email exchange, Anderson explained that the app is set to become more social, possibly drawing inspiration from hit “social magazine” app Flipboard. As we noted recently, the current issue features a Facebook Page-based comment system for one article, but that’s just the start, it seems. “We’ve got a proper social media layer coming into our app later this year”, he said. “I love Flipboard… and we’ll definitely be taking tips from them”.

Exactly how the inspiration drawn from Flipboard will manifest themselves remains to be seen, but it could be in the way tweets and other social comments are seamlessly integrated into ‘pages’ of the app. It’s easy to imagine how pages of Wired’s app could incorporate reader comments in a similar way without ruining the stylised look of the “digital magazine”.

Anderson also, dropped a few more interesting tidbits into the conversation:

  • In terms of sales figures, the first issue (much hyped at the time of release) sold “Nearly 110,000 copies”, while subsequent issues have sold “In the multiple tens of thousands”. This ties in with a recent WWD report that stated sales of 31,000 and 28,000 for July and August respectively. However, despite that slump, Anderson told Lund that “Sales are now rising again as iPad penetration grows”.
  • Creating each issue of the iPad edition, with its interactive elements and video clips, requires around 20% extra editorial resources in addition to those required to produce the print version.”Hopefully, we’ll get that down to 10-15% as our processes improve”, Anderson told Lund.

You can read more of Jon Lund’s email exchange with Chris Anderson on Lund’s blog here.

It was recently reported that Wired publisher Conde Nast would be bringing the mostly different UK edition of the magazine to the App Store soon.