Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Esquire To Make Print Magazine Interactive

By Keach Hagey

Magazines’ future might be digital, but — Newsweek-style forced marches aside — that future is also years away. In the interim, magazines must figure out how to exist as print objects in an increasingly digital world.

To that end, Esquire, always game to try the latest digital gimmickry to spice up its 80-year old print title, has teamed up with a new app called Netpage that lets readers clip, save and share content from the print magazine on social media.
More importantly from a business perspective, the app, which launched Monday, will let readers purchase items highlighted in the magazine, simply by hovering their cell phones over it and clicking “buy.”

It’s a function that print magazines have been pushing toward for several years with technology like QR codes, which let users “unlock” video or other kinds of digital content by pointing a smart phone at a printed digital pattern. Esquire has recently used QR codes to attach things like video trailers introducing its August issue and its story about Zainsville Zoo. But getting readers to actually use them has been something of an uphill battle, in part because, as Esquire Editor-in-chief David Granger once told Adweek, readers often mistake them for ads.
With the new app, on the other hand, Esquire is offering interactivity without changing the print design, outside of a few text reminders guiding readers to try out the new app. Every bit of the magazine can be recognized by the app and saved on readers’ smartphones as a high-resolution pdf. That means readers of the print magazine will be able to tweet a story easily, rather than having to go and find the web site version, which sometimes isn’t posted until later.

Full story at The Wall Street Journal

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