While many publishers consider social media as a way to distribute existing content, News International (NI) has developed a Facebook app for Fabulous magazine that will publish original content on the site every day.
Launching tomorrow, the app will use the same theory as the Guardian and Independent’s social apps, publishing stories read in a user’s timeline. It will also allow people to share on Facebook, and to Twitter.
The app, created by Jam, will include a fashion blog, gallery and competitions - as well as Fabulous Radio, which allows people to create and share Spotify playlists. A weather section will also make clothing and accessory recommendations based on current weather conditions.
NI says that the intention is to build a following for the Fabulous brand on Facebook and drive sales of the print edition of the magazine, which appears inside The Sun every Saturday. It will not take a revenue share of the ads served around the app, but will create sponsored content opportunities with brands in the future.
Facebook itself has pointed to the Guardian’s app as best practice in terms of a publisher using the social network, but this is a new spin on things. Is content more shareable if it’s unique to the social space? Will that be obvious to people interacting with the app or will it be a waste of resource?
Due to the hunger for celebrity gossip and lifestyle content online, Fabulous could indeed grow a more varied and broader following because of this app.
But let's not forget that the objective is to drive offline sales. Just how NI will measure this, since Fabulous is sold as part of The Sun on Saturday bundle, is quite a different story.