Forbes Media-Backed FlipGloss Launches Beta


imageIf all goes as planned, FlipGloss Media and its flagship will emerge from stealth mode this morning. The latest entrant in the glossy-magazine-online category is billed as an “interactive photo experience that lets you flip, hover and discover.” Founded in March 2008 by digital music vets Kerry Trainor (CEO), Mike Randall, Robyn VanTol and Christopher Shattuck, FlipGloss Media has been funded by Forbes Media from the beginning, though the amount is undisclosed. Forbes COO Tim Forbes is an adviser as are execs from Forbes minority shareholder Elevation Partners and founders/former *Yahoo* Music GMs Dave Goldberg and Bob Roback. Forbes is also syndicating content to FlipGloss; a photo spread on The World’s Coolest Hotels was on the pre-launch, password-protected site.

In some respects, the look and the emphasis on black-background photos with hover text is reminiscent of Wonderwall, the MSN celeb site from BermanBraun that launched a couple of weeks ago. But FlipGloss is after something else, a fashion mag feel combined with a requirement that users interact with the image to get the most out of it; all content shows up as full-page images with “relevant” advertising, product information, related recommendations or how to purchase. Like Tina Brown’s Daily Beast, FlipGloss is launching the consumer product without advertising locked in. A company spokeswoman says it will share details in 60 days. Ad/revenue options include branded content and sponsorship sales through full-page glossy ad inserts sold by CPM and affiliate-style paid links.



It's product-placement slideshows! Yay!

Seriously, it's fairly well done, but I think Flickr does annotated photos much better. And the time required to create those masked rollovers is not worth it. That idea alone could sink the whole venture.

I'm curious about how they're going to approach the whole issue of ad/edit separation. Seems like a nightmare. But maybe Forbes is thinking about ditching ASME, just like Hachette ditched MPA?

Does anyone but me think this new "strategy" of launching without any idea of who the advertising partners might be is a bad idea? Not exactly strategic thinking in these tough times. How FlipGloss relates to the larger Forbes Media family is another, bigger question.

digital bear

Pretty site. Not sure it warrants going to a destination but can imagine getting lost looking at pictures they have on an iPhone (though they don't have an App in the AppStore, yet.)

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