Time Inc. Becoming More Social

    August 7, 2007

Time Inc. says it has plans to add social networking to its Web sites that have off line magazines in the next six months.

The company has done well with its Sports Illustrated’s site FanNation.com. Since purchasing FanNation earlier this year, the site’s unique visitors have reached four million.

"Offering social networking gives our sales force a much better opportunity to go after advertisers who are interested in reaching users in a more authentic way with a user-generated platform," said Paul Fichtenbaum, managing editor of SI.com.

Fichtenbaum went on to say that social networks increase the number of users you can engage and gives advertisers a broader opportunity. He would not say which sites would be receiving social networks according to DM News.

There is speculation from MediaWeek that Time and People could be tapped to add social networks. People has begun to add video channels to its site. Time Inc. believes that adding social networks to its sites will capture a younger audience.

"My gut feeling is that the average FanNation user is even younger than the person who goes on SI.com," said Fichtenbaum. "People in the 18- to 34-year-old demographic are so used to engaging online. This is what they’ve used and what they’re comfortable with."

Fichtenbaum went on to say that Time Inc.’s digital offerings would not replace print content.

"What people like to do is go online after reading the print, so it’s very complementary," Fichtenbaum added. "If you can have both, they work together to create the total experience."