New Cosmo Site Feature Lets Viewers ‘WTF’ or ‘OMG’ a Story

Partnership with Social Amp lets readers react to stories via Facebook

Apart from the ubiquitous “like,” magazine fans don’t typically have many options for interacting with their favorite titles on Facebook. That’s why, when Facebook announced the release of Open Graph 2.0 last year, Hearst Digital Media struck up a partnership with developer Social Amp, a Merkle company, to provide a more social experience for readers of its magazines.

The new platform, called MagShare, makes browsing Hearst magazines’ websites more interactive. After authenticating their Facebook credentials on the site, readers can react to articles using a list of preset actions (like “want” or “love”), which are then posted directly to their Facebook feeds. Personalized sidebars also let users see how their Facebook friends are reacting to each story and which stories are getting the most reactions overall.

“The main goal behind it was to build our social audience, to move beyond ‘like’ and ‘share’ and to integrate into the core Facebook experience,” said Brian Madden, executive director of social media at Hearst Digital.

MagShare launched on Cosmopolitan’s website over the weekend and will roll out on Marie Claire and Bazaar sites next. Because Hearst wanted each brand to have its own unique editorial voice, said Madden, each magazine offers a different set of reactions. For instance, Cosmo readers can “want,” “OMG” or “WTF” a story, while Marie Claire readers can “want,” “love” or “try” it. ("OMG" and "WTF" comment buttons have appeared on BuzzFeed stories for years, along with others like "LOL," "Win" and "Cute.")

While Social Amp has developed similar programs for retailers’ sites in the past—including 1-800-Flowers, Smashbox, and Discover Card—this is the first time the company has partnered with a publishing brand.