Snapchat’s ‘Radical’ Ideas, Upswing in LinkedIn Traffic, Potential Time Inc. Bid, Closure of Self Print Magazine, TFP’s Infographic Pick of the Week

Welcome to Technology for Publishing’s roundup of news, stories of interest, and tips for media industry pros! This week, we’re sharing posts about Snapchat’s “pioneering model of social networking,” changes driving an increase in publishers’ LinkedIn traffic, rumors Meredith may make a bid for Time Inc., the closure of Condé Nast’s Self print magazine, and more.

  • snapchat-nyt-imageWatch out, Facebook. According to a post by New York Times tech columnist Farhad Manjoo, “Snap has quietly become one of the world’s most innovative and influential consumer technology companies.” He said while the popular messaging app has received relatively little attention by media companies, given its narrow demographics (teen and 20-something crowd) and the perception that the platform is “frivolous or somehow a fad,” publishers would do well to take a second look. Noting how Facebook and others are “obsessed” with imitating Snapchat’s functionality, Manjoo pointed out the idea of “ephemeral” interaction versus virality radically changes the current online model—something that has the potential to affect everyone in the content business. “[Snapchat] is pioneering a model of social networking that feels more intimate and authentic than the Facebook-led ideas that now dominate the online world,” he said. “Snap’s software and hardware designs, as well as its marketing strategies, are more daring than much of what we’ve seen from tech giants, including Apple.”
  • Meanwhile, publishers are liking LinkedIn again. While the platform has had its ups and downs in terms of the volume of traffic it drives to their sites, algorithm and other changes made this past year are currently increasing its favorability rating, Digiday said. That’s true particularly for business-focused sites, with Forbes reporting its LinkedIn traffic is up 60% year over year. The publisher also noted it now has more than 3.3 million followers on the platform—almost equal to that on Facebook (3.7 million)—adding that a large majority of them signed on just over the past year. Additional changes are expected to add to the upswing in traffic: a new feature called the Interest Feed, which lets users drill down into embedded topics in stories, as well as a new audience analytics tool.
  • On the M&A front, there’s speculation that Meredith may make a bid for Time Inc. following the latter’s rejection of a $1.8 billion offer by investors Len Blavatnik, Edgar Bronfman Jr., and Ynon Kreiz, all of whom are associated with Warner Music Group, CNN Money reported. Meredith, of course, isn’t commenting, releasing the statement, “Meredith is continually exploring opportunities to add attractive print, broadcast and digital/video brands to its media portfolio.” According to The New York Post, an analyst wrote that “a deal could resurface, as we think that [Meredith] still brings cost savings and other synergies, and has twice attempted to complete a transformational transaction,” referring to a 2013 move by Time Warner to sell Time Inc. to Meredith.
  • And goodbye to yet another print magazine: Condé Nast said it will discontinue the print edition of Self with the February 2017 issue, although it plans to continue offering a digital version. Self Editor in Chief Joyce Chang is being replaced by Carolyn Klystra, 20 staffers are being laid off, and other cuts are planned for the new year, WWD said. As part of a companywide reshuffling, Condé also recently announced it is combining creative, research, and copy teams across brands and reorganizing on the business side.

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Image: Doug Chayka/The New York Times

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Posted by: Monica Sambataro

Monica Sambataro is a contributing editor and copyeditor for Technology for Publishing. Her publishing background includes work for leading technology- and business-related magazines and websites.