Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Hearst App Blends the Marketplace with the Newsroom: Social Shopping App Leverages Hearst Content into Retail Experience

Magazine article Folio: the Magazine for Magazine Management

Hearst App Blends the Marketplace with the Newsroom: Social Shopping App Leverages Hearst Content into Retail Experience

Article excerpt

THERE HAVE BEEN TONS of focus groups, studies and market research done on the topic: How do you intersect content and commerce? An app designed by Hearst and Barcode Hero will do just that--directly connecting shoppers with relevant editorial reviews.

The free social shopping app, which launched March 21, will allow potential customers using Apple mobile devices to access reviews from RealBeauty.com, which generates editorial coverage of cosmetic products and beauty trends, and 1UP.com, a site that gives video gamers insight on the best games, systems and controllers, among other things.

"We're just always looking for new and innovative ways to interact with audiences and find new audiences," says Kimberly Lau, vice president of business development for Hearst Magazines Digital Media.

Lau said editorial reviews will be coupled with product critiques and appraisal from real consumers--the combination is expected to give shoppers a well-rounded assessment of product information from experts and clients who have already purchased the products.

According to Lau, the concept is designed so that shoppers may scan products with the Barcode Hero app, write reviews, recommend products and share things that they've purchased while also following other individuals that have purchased similar products. Users will use editorial reviews as a reference when shopping for that perfect lipstick or new video game.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"The fascinating thing about mobile [apps] is the ability to connect community with shopping with editorial. When the opportunity came, we viewed it as a great opportunity to play in that space and get our feet wet," she says.

The idea came about when Barcode Hero, originally known as Kima Labs, Inc., contacted 1UP.com, which in turn introduced RealBeauty.com to the partnership. …

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