Rolling Stone’s new social networking hub, #RSFans, aims to be a “two-way conversation” between Rolling Stone editors and Facebook, Twitter and Instagram users.
Readers are supposed to tag Facebook posts and pictures, tweets and Instagram photos with #RSFans. Editors curate the content and feature it on the RSFans page. A Coachella post, for instance, includes Instagram photos and tweets from the California music festival.
Fans are using social media to cover “live events, festivals, particular concerts and new record releases,” says David Kang, Rolling Stone’s recently hired chief digital officer. “Even with our extensive coverage, we can’t replicate that.” So the brand is harnessing that content on its website instead. Some of the fan-curated digital content may also make its way into the print magazine, Kang said: “It’s a logical extension of the two-way conversation.”
Rolling Stone was slow to settle on a digital strategy and the chief digital officer position has seen a lot of turnover — Kang, who was previously at Hearst for under a year, was hired to fill the position that Michael Bloom left after just six months. But the magazine hopes to catch up with an iPad edition this year.
Kang is also overseeing the launch of a series of new Rolling Stone apps, beginning in May. There will be an app that lets users find artists touring near them, a news app, a triva app, and an app called “Song Stories” that explains how certain songs came to be.