Forbes Plans to Launch Series of Community Apps
Company buys private photo-sharing app.
Forbes Media bought photo-sharing app, Camerama, Monday as part of a larger effort to establish several niche app environments for its community.
Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, nor was a specific timeline for launching the apps, though Lewis D’Vorkin, chief product officer for Forbes, says they’re well into the development process already. He expects the company will have multiple new apps in the market by the end of this year.
“We’re moving forward on creating a series of apps that are much more about niche communities, very social network-esque, and aren’t just a distribution platform for [Forbes] content,” D’Vorkin says. “The bulk [of the content] will come from communities sharing, posting, working with each other within the app.”
Specifically, Forbes will look to leverage the private sharing, notification and profile aspects of Camerama’s tech, as opposed to its photo capabilities. The company’s founder, Salah Akram Zalatimo, will also join Forbes as vice president of mobile products.
D’Vorkin says it’s yet to be determined if the products will be free or paid, but monetization will stay close to the models Forbes uses already.
“These apps will be about streams and streaming content, so our [native advertising platform] Brandvoice and our sponsorships will be the most suitable for this,” he says. “These apps are a wonderful way for us to appeal to smaller, niche audiences. It’s an area of the marketplace that advertisers want to reach. They want the right group of people in a very curated environment. So we’ll be able to accomplish two of our goals with our targeted apps and the scale of the website.”
While the publisher already has a handful of apps to its name—they range from standard magazine access points to more personalized utilities on topics like financial planning—they’re all essentially distribution mechanisms for Forbes editorial content. The new apps will have Forbes content on them, D’Vorkin says, but that won’t be the focus.
App development is the latest tech venture Forbes has taken in recent years. The company has invested heavily in its own site and, notably, its contributor network CMS, Forbes Falcon, which was licensed to B2B publisher ALM in 2013.