Flipboard, the iPad reader application that collects social networking content and presents it in the form of a magazine, have begun an in-app advertising model in an effort to generate a new revenue stream for the company.
The program will begin with a campaign by American Express, and will be shown to users who follow The New Yorker magazine’s Twitter or Facebook streams.
The ads are full-page, and part of a deal Flipboard has made with publisher Condé Nast. Other Condé titles, such as Wired and Bon Appétit, will also start to show ads through Flipboard to followers later in the year.
Here’s how it will look:
Tap on the ads and you’re taken to the brand’s website or Facebook Page. Flipboard CEO Mike McCue says he’s not concerned about users reacting negatively to the change.
“In many cases, people often look to magazines for the advertising,” he said. “That’s not the case with web ads. It has a lot to do with the format of online ads. The fact that the ads are eating into the content whether it’s a skyscraper or a pop-up. With our ads, it will have a similar look and feel to what’s in a magazine. In a lot of ways, it will be regarded simply as additional content.”
In May it was reported that Flipboard was generating eight to nine million page ‘flips’ per day, up from three to four million in March.
On the possibility of a paid-for, non-ad version of Flipboard, McCue is dismissive. “I think people recognize that the ads are a great way to keep content free, which is what users really value.”
Time will tell. Condé Nast and Flipboard will share revenue from the ads at an undisclosed split. Lexus is the next brand to feature on the program, with ads from the automobile manufacturer set to start in October.
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