It’s not exactly a secret that Conde Nast has been a little late to the whole Internet thing. Look no further than the fact that their most famous fashion title–Vogue, in case you weren’t sure–only got a dot com a few years ago. So it makes sense the famed publisher is trying to make up for lost time.
Today Conde Nast launched new social media tool “Social Sidekick.” The in-house developed tool works as an aggregator for most-shared content from W, Style.com, Glamour, Self, Teen Vogue and Lucky. It sounds sort of fancy but all it actually means is that on those sites there will be a window at the bottom of the page, which splashes out popular content from the aforementioned sister sites–basically, it’s an aggregator like any other aggregator on any other site. It’s not a bad idea–especially from the advertising perspective–but it’s certainly not groundbreaking, or as Business Insider says, “It’s nice to look at, but it won’t make a big difference to the bottom line.”
It was also reported today on WWD, that Conde Nast (International) will launch yet another app–this time for London FNO. This, and the Social Sidekick, are only the latest in a long string of digital developments at the publishing house, including an FNO NYC app, launching Voguepedia, implementing mobile codes in their biggest titles, the mysterious new digital property (a Vogue archive?), and in a weird reversal, launching a Style.com print magazine. This isn’t even to mention all the iPad and mobile apps that the publishing house has rolled out in the past year or two.
But while we commend Conde for their tremendous effort, and are excited for many of the new developments (Voguepedia, hello!), some of this smells at least a little like a gimmick-style tactic–an attempt to get people to click by slapping on some newfangled digital “tool.” Or is Vogue just trying to figure it all out, like the rest of the traditional media world? What do you think? Are you excited to try their new gadgets?