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Forbes boosts mobile relevancy with image-heavy social newsfeed

Forbes recently added a new way for its readers to interact with content in its mobile application via a feature called ?Stream.?

Stream enables readers to share images and text from Forbes? mobile issues across traditional social networks as well as within an internal social network for Forbes enthusiasts. The new feature is powered by Maz, and Forbes plans to expand it to Android and other platforms in the near future.

?When we were working with Maz we had this wonderful opportunity to try a different kind of stream which was more image based,? said Lewis D'Vorkin, media chief product officer at Forbes, New York.

?What I liked about what they were doing, it was very slick cool functional technology that one was a stream ? not a text-based stream ? but image-based, and I like that very much because the world is moving to more image-based streams, if you look at what?s going on with Twitter,? he said.

?The other thing I liked about the stream is it enabled our magazine audience to participate in a social newsfeed where they could easily clip and share what they felt was important in that issue and in any issue of Forbes and share that with the community.?

The Forbes iOS app is free to download, but consumers can only access a preview version unless they subscribe to Forbes. The mobile issue contains the same content as the print version of Forbes magazine, but it also links to and some other features.

Now Forbes has added another layer to its app with the social network Stream. Readers can create a unique Stream log-in or sign in via their Facebook account.

Stream is a mini-social network for Forbes readers that shows a newsfeed of Forbes images and text that readers find particularly interesting. Readers can clip any content they want from the mobile issue and then share it via the public-facing Stream or a personal stream.

Readers can also share clipped content via other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Evernote, as well as via email and iMessages.

When readers click on a clip in Stream they will be directed back to the source of that clip.

Mobile reading
Forbes launched its mobile app last year and has since been focused on enhancing its mobile and social offerings.

Last year, Forbes? mobile audience grew 150 percent with 30 percent of its traffic coming from mobile devices (see story).

Now the publisher is trying to build up its social integration within its mobile offerings. According to Mr. D?Vorkin, Forbes wanted to go beyond simply letting readers share an article on Facebook or Twitter and let them partake in an internal social community of Forbes readers.

?Our strategy over three-and-a-half years has been to put our authoritative journalism at the center of a social media experience,? Mr. D?Vorkin said.

?We have a huge social audience, right now our social traffic is exploding,? he said. ?At the same time that our mobile audience is continuing to rise, where 30 percent more or less of our traffic came in from mobile devices.

?We have an exploding social audience, we have a rising audience that is accessing Forbes through mobile; it only makes sense to integrate the two, social and mobile.?

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York