If you're a fashion blog devotee, odds are you're familiar with Bloglovin', the RSS platform that aggregates women's lifestyle blogs. Although the startup was founded in 2008, it only raised its first round of funding in 2012. Now Bloglovin' is ramping things up further, having just closed a $7 million Series A led by Europe's Northzone.
With this round of funding, Bloglovin' plans to hire engineers to develop the platform, with a slew of new features slated to come out in the next few months. Recently-hired CEO Joy Marcus wouldn't go into specifics, but she did say that users will be able to take a more active role in playing tastemaker.
"There are specific features that will allow for user-curated expression, an expression of user taste that I think will resonate with our audience," Marcus says.
Unlike Tumblr and Pinterest, sites that are also popular among those looking for fashion content, Bloglovin' only allows its users to follow blogs -- as of now, they can't create their own content. As it's an RSS feed, that's not its purpose. But people who follow fashion blogs tend to have a pretty strong point of view of their own, even if they don't have the time or inclination to run their own blog, Marcus says.
To that end, Bloglovin' will be adding features to give those people room to express themselves. If we had to guess, that would mean something along the lines of customizable feeds, especially since the current feed format is rather utilitarian.
For the time being, Marcus says that Bloglovin' is leaning hard into its current user demographic -- style-minded women -- and looking to fill out the verticals it's most active in: fashion, food and DIY. Although users curate their own feeds, Bloglovin' approves all the blogs that are on its platform, a current roster of about 500,000 sites.
At the moment, Bloglovin' does very little to monetize outside of some advertising. Commerce is one potential avenue, Marcus says, although the team has no immediate plans to open that channel.
In the past, Bloglovin' has brokered sponsored content between bloggers and advertisers, but those partnerships were few and far between. Although it's anecdotal evidence, Marcus says that some bloggers have reported that Bloglovin' is one of their top three sources of traffic (up there with Facebook and Pinterest). If the site is able to get better data on how much it's helping bloggers out, we should probably expect to see the platform leveraging that more actively.