Stream
Credit: r-z on Flickr. Some rights reserved.
Forbes has launched a new feature for its iOS Newsstand platform that acts as a social newsfeed of Forbes content shared by other readers.

"Stream", launched yesterday, allows users to take clippings from the pages of the app and share them as "visual bookmarks", said Paul Canetti, founder and CEO of MAZ, which developed the software for Forbes.

"On Twitter or Facebook you're being bombarded with content from all sources," Canetti told Journalism.co.uk, "regardless of what mood you're in or what you're interested in at that particular time you get an article from Forbes and a baby photo and God knows what.

"We're taking that kind of social network experience, which people are now quite used to, but sculpting it for a quite specific activity."

Readers of the Forbes magazine app take clippings with a two-finger tap, capturing a particular part of the page in a similar manner to a screen grab, which then acts as a link that can be shared to the Stream or other social networks.

Forbes stream
Screengrab from Forbes Magazine app, showing the clip-and-share facility (left) and the Stream

"People are navigating the social web and digital content in a vastly different way," Lewis D'Vorkin, Forbes Media's chief product officer, told Journalism.co.uk, "they're not going to homepages anymore.

"Whether it's newsfeeds on Twitter or Facebook or wherever, they're navigating feeds and rivers and streams and what we're trying to do at Forbes, working with MAZ, is get into that world of new navigation."

D'Vorkin said the app will give new life to old content as readers browse the app and share images, articles and clippings from past issues.

Forbes already gets 50 per cent of its website traffic from archive content and the potential for users to share clippings from past months or years into Stream will bolster that, he said.

"Long-tail content is critical to the success of any media venture today," D'Vorkin added.

At present, users are not able to have conversations around the content – they can leave notes on their own clippings but they cannot see those left by others – although facilities for interaction will be introduced as the feature becomes more populated.

Both D'Vorkin and Canetti were keen to stress that new developments would be introduced dependent on how Stream developed. Users currently refresh the stream with a downward swipe but there may be a need for a "follow" function, curated streams or other options to filter the content, said Canetti, if thousands of people begin using the stream.

"It's all part of our larger strategy to navigate through streams, not through the traditional ways that people have done over the last 10 years on news sites," said D'Vorkin, "but more as they're doing on social sites these days."

The new feature comes one year after the launch of the Forbes Magazine app, also developed by MAZ, which added interactive icons to PDF versions of the magazine, linking to additional content on Forbes.com.

The clip-and-share capacity existed in the previous iteration of the app, in which users could share content to their existing networks, and Forbes found that images from adverts were being shared, giving rise to possible new revenue sources from Stream.

"That's people clipping ads and there are other ways to integrate native advertising in these streams as well," D'Vorkin said. "It has a benefit for businesses, marketers and consumers."

Correction: The original article misspelled Paul Canetti's name as 'Carnetti'. This has now been amended.

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