With the rise of digital publishing also came the rise of apps. Magazine apps were an exciting prospect, but they were often bloated and poorly optimized. The industry has since evolved to a newsstand model, but there are still infrastructure challenges — publishers seem content to dump their entire print issue into a digital format.
Magazine apps are often isolated from the bigger browsing experience. The links don’t appear in search, and social sharing has been nearly impossible. According to Jon Lund, chairman of the Danish Online News Association, magazine apps essentially create an invisible stream of content.
“When you can’t link directly to an article, the urge to tweet or tell your friends about it drastically shrinks. And curators like Flipboard and Zite can’t look into, link or grab content from within magazine apps,” Lund wrote for GigaOm.
Issuu, a digital newsstand app, recently launched a new product called Clip that it hopes will revolutionize the future of digital publishing. Clip enables readers to “clip,” comment and share content to Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and other social networks. Publishers can also use Clip to highlight areas of interest and encourage readers to share or comment.
According to Issuu CEO Joe Hyrkin, “Clip allows publishers and readers to share any element of content they love with other readers across the digital landscape. Publishers can also improve the experience for advertisers and readers and increase the ability for their content to be discovered socially.”
On the digital Web, this ability to discover and share content is what drives traffic and engagement. In fact, during the product launch presentation, Hyrkin noted that smart publishers know how to use all of the digital tools at their disposal to drive access to a broader audience
This new feature flies in the face of previous magazine and digital newsstand apps. Clip moves the digital magazine experience beyond the insular app and connects it with the wider Web.