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Forbes flaunts multiplatform news content via iPad app

Forbes has rolled out an iPad application that marries the print, Web and social components of the magazine.

The new iPad app is part of a bigger digital and print revamp from Forbes. Compared to other publishers and media brands that have jumped on the tablet as a way to take content digital, Forbes? approach is more cautious.

?We were deliberate about our app strategy, with a very organized approach ? we first introduced apps for our investment guides and wealth lists,? said Lewis D?Vorkin, chief product officer at Forbes, New York.

?First we transformed the Forbes Web site into a dynamic publishing platform for the era of social media,? he said. ?Then we rebuilt a mobile site using HTML5, betting on the tried-and-true browser, which still remains the consumer?s preferred way to consume news.?

?Forbes magazine recharged itself, too. A new design and a people-centric cover strategy reinforced our message of entrepreneurial capitalism. We knew the right app would emerge from these efforts to serve as a gateway to both our magazine and the extraordinary depth of our Web site.?

Read on mobile
Forbes partnered with Maz to build the app, which is available for free download from Apple?s App Store.

The app uses PDFs from Forbes? print pages. Then the pages are overlaid with multimedia such as links and video that add engagement to the pages.

For example, the Jan. 21 issue of Forbes is the 30 Under 30 issue that spotlights 30 standout innovators, entrepreneurs and disruptors under the age of 30.

David Karp, founder/CEO of Tumblr is featured on the cover. Via the app, consumers can tap to watch a ten-minute behind-the-scenes video from the interview.

Additionally, the feature spread on the inside of the magazine links to full coverage of the 30 Under 30 issue.

Links to follow Forbes on Twitter, Facebook, Google + and LinkedIn are also promoted in the issue.

One of the more unique features of the app is a digital clipping tool that lets consumers use their fingers to create a custom-sized screenshot of a page that can then be shared via social media platforms including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Pictures can also be shared through email or saved to the tablet?s built-in photo roll.

When users send a clipped image, a link to the app is included in the message, which helps Forbes spread the word about the app and increase downloads.

Subscription model
Subscriptions to the digital edition is $29.99 per year or $2.99 a month. Alternatively, consumers can buy single issues of the magazine for $5.99.

Forbes print subscribers can upgrade their account for an additional $10 a year to receive full access.

In addition to subscriptions, Forbes also plans to monetize content through cross-platform advertising opportunities, per Mr. D?Vorkin.

Previously, Forbes has rolled out other apps for specific areas of coverage.

For instance, in April the company rolled out the Forbes Lifetime Financial Planning iPad app that combines editorial content with digital tools to help consumers make financial decisions (see story).

?We?re seeing more and more of our audience consuming content through mobile, so we?ve optimized the Forbes digital experience across all platforms to meet their needs,? Mr. D?Vorkin said.

?Mobile will only continue to grow in importance,? he said.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York