Recently, Flipboard (www.flipboard.com) and Levis (us.levi.com)partnered to release a social shopping experience just in Time for New York fashion week. the newly launched experience comes as part of a new brand push form Levis and has turned Flipboard from one of the best magazine readers, into a social shopping platform.
When Flipboard popped onto the app store a few years ago, It instantly became recognized as one of the most progressive takes on readers. With its wealth of content and social connectivity ( most notably Twitter favorites) it became a huge hit on iPad, but over the last year, things have changed for the upstart digital mag. Traditional print publishers have begun to see the toll that Flipboard’s free content has taken on readership, and many are beginning to restrict content to shorter articles or teasers. This coupled with the arrival of Instapaper and applications like Google Currents, have made it harder for Flipboard to maintain a top spot.
The partnership with Levis aims to change all of that.
By leveraging the popular platform and adding to it a digital magazine/lookbook/shopping experience. Flipboard now has a new chip to throw into the game. People can now browse through the interesting style visuals that Flipboard is known for and also have a chance to purchase the latest designs from Levis, in a format that they already know and love.
Flipboard is not the first application that has done this. Both Marie Claire and Elle magazines tried sell through their digital apps, but the biggest difference is that Flipboard offers all of its content free of charge and is completely customizable by the user – something that traditional digital magazine apps have struggled with. Add to that, the fact that Flipboard, originally only available for iOS is now available for Android, and you’re looking at some serious competition for digital magazines.
This new partnership will undoubtedly give other magazine apps like Google Currents something to consider as they look for ways to monetize their offerings beyond media. Many brands will also be watching closely to see how this venture fares as more consumers abandon traditional shopping destinations in favor of social and mobile shopping experiences.