- Condé Nast's Vogue, the fashion magazine with a print circulation of 1.2 million in the U.S., partnered with Apple on an augmented reality (AR) iMessage extension that lets users create selfies immersed in disco glamor. "The Vogue Effect" feature uses the iPhone X's front-facing 3-D camera to create a multidimensional filter like those seen on Snapchat and Instagram, The Drum reported.
- Vogue created the iMessage extension with Apple's ARKit, the software framework rolled out in September that helps brands create apps using AR, a technology which overlays digital images onto the real world via smartphone cameras.
- Users can create images from the spring and summer 2018 fashion seasons such as a "21st-century spin on disco glamour" on their surroundings and share them on social media. The Vogue feature will be available on iPhone X starting Dec. 1.
Vogue is among the Condé Nast titles that thrived when readers bought print magazines to look at glossy designer ads — or at least fantasize about living stylishly — as much as to mull over original editorial articles. But as consumers spend a greater amount of time on mobile devices, traditional publishers are being forced to adapt and innovate to match their readers' shifting habits or face floundering circulation.
In this case, Vogue is looking to tap into the popularity of the much-buzzed-about iPhone X for creative experimentation and to search out new ways to expand its brand into bleeding edge arenas like AR. This move could prove a fun way to generate excitement around the publication and tie the offline experience of reading it in print with social media, with iMessage as the bridge. IMessage, along with other chat apps like Facebook's Messenger and Kik, are incredibly popular with young consumers, in particular — an audience Vogue has been successful in engaging with its socially-conscious Teen Vogue sister publication.
Last month, a wave of new AR apps entered the scene as marketers and developers sought to use ARkit to bring fresh value to their mobile strategy. Some of those apps can be used while shoppers are in stores, but this demonstration is a reminder of the many ways marketers are integrating AR into the mix, including through user-generated content.
Apple CEO Tim Cook said AR will transform fashion marketing, according to an interview with Vogue last month. Consumers can now see how clothing or cosmetics look on them through the app and their smartphone camera. Research from Digital Bridge shows that 69% of surveyed consumers now expect retailers to launch AR apps within the next six months, Forbes reported.
Meanwhile, this is part of Condé Nast's larger restructuring to cope with the shifting media market. Last week, the publisher continued to cut staff as part of a plan to cut 80 jobs company-wide, according to Women's Wear Daily. GQ let go of eight editorial staffers, including executive digital director Mike Hofman, fashion director Madeline Weeks and digital entertainment editor Ashley Fetters. The media giant also recently stopped print publication of Teen Vogue, a quarterly print title started in 2003.