Cosmo apps load up on interactivity
Publishers continue to experiment with the tablet as a new content platform. For Cosmopolitan, a brand that has always emphasized audience participation in print and online – sex quiz, anyone? – apps represent an even richer playground for interactivity and real-time features.
“We’ve always been very interactive in print with quizzes and even things like scratch-and-sniff,” Cosmopolitan Editor in Chief Kate White said in a phone interview. “With the app, we can be even more fun, more interactive and more real-time.”
The rich media features in the CFG app build on Cosmo’s first iPad app, the Cosmo Showcase Edition, which launched in March and was packed with audio, video, quizzes and live streaming data.
“We developed a lot of cool functionality with the Showcase app,” White said. “Almost every feature in our Showcase was interactive, and we discovered though focus groups that users couldn’t get enough of it. It was like being at an all-you-can-eat midnight buffet.”
So Cosmo’s editors added even more interactivity to the CFG app, which as the name implies targets a new audience for Cosmo: men. Which means lots of features about dating and sex, including an interactive quiz about awkward date situations; a Sex Map that streams polling data from Cosmopolitan.com about women’s “bedroom preferences”; audio samples of women’s “top five bedroom noises”; and 3-D sex positions, “viewable from every angle.”
Cosmo’s approach to tablet apps differs from other magazine brands not just in the level or rich media it has packed into its app, but also in that it has yet to release a complete tablet edition of the print magazine. White said the decision to wait was based in part on market research indicating that the majority of iPad readers are men – not Cosmo’s core female audience.
“We decided to wait to see how the market expands, but we’ll be heading in that direction,” White said. In the meantime, expect another version of the Showcase app this fall, along with an eBook for the Nook that comprises three short stories from the magazine. White also hinted at additional apps that build on Cosmo’s content – with an emphasis, of course, on interactivity.
“We’re taking all the functionality we have now and playing with it in a lot of different ways,” she said. “From there, we’re going to look at ways we can expand our toolbox. We have so much fabulous content – there are other apps we can do.”