Flipboard, the popular magazine-like social media aggregator, now has a shopping feature. "Now you can discover, collect and buy products via Flipboard and create your own catalogues," said an official blog post.
The new feature, which aims to leverage the holiday shopping frenzy, would come in the form of 10 shopping catalogues curated by Flipboard staff. There would be magazines based on a number of themes such as "Modern Man," "Beauty Bar," "Home Sweet Home" and "The Pantry", as also popular brands like Banana Republic, eBay and Levi's.
The app had been letting users create their own catalogue and now they would also be able to create customised shopping catalogues by just clicking the Flip It bookmarklet on their browser. "Using the bookmarklet, you can add products from virtually any retail site on the Web into your magazine. When flipped into your magazine, most products will display a price, quickly indicating to readers that it's a shoppable item," the blog said.
Founded by Mike McCue and Evan Doll in 2010, the app competes with the likes of Zite, Pulse and News 360 that have similar news and social aggregation features.
According to Mike McCue, CEO of Flipboard, by partnering with retail brands that understand the value of curation and presentation, Flipboard was able to kick off shopping with some incredible new content for readers to browse, buy or share.
Additionally, the tool lets Flipboard users display their gift wish lists and highlight their favorite products in a catalogue-like format. The digital catalogues feature links so the products can be purchased by anyone browsing through the selections on Flipboard's application for Apple Inc's iPhone and iPad, as well as mobile devices running on Google Inc's Android operating system.
A number of merchants and websites, including Gap Inc's Banana Republic and eBay Inc, are distributing Flipboard catalogues.
The company's move into electronic commerce comes seven months after the Palo Alto, California, start-up began to allow people to put together digital magazines on their favourite topics. Around 4.5 million different magazines have been created on Flipboard so far, focused on just about anything and everything.
Many of those magazines come with digital ads, providing Flipboard with its main source of revenue. The over 8,000 publishers who joined hands with Flipboard also get a cut of the ad revenue.