Facebook is joining a whole list of companies, from Airbnb, Asos, Casper, Dollar Shave Club to Net-a-Porter in publishing a new magazine. Except, it is a not-magazine.
Despite being packaged in the shape of a magazine, bearing all the hallmarks of a magazine and having the words “a quarterly magazine for business leaders” emblazoned on its magazine-like cover, Grow by Facebook is categorically not a magazine according to the Facebook PR team. No – this is, they say, simply a piece of marketing collateral. A brochure even. It’s almost as though Facebook doesn’t want to be called a publisher or something.
Whatever you want to call it, Grow joins an ever-expanding collection of branded publications whose arrival has coincided with major consumer titles such as NME and Teen Vogue closing their print magazines. So why is it that dead tree media is proving so desirable to companies that have built their success on eschewing legacy technology?
“Trust, authority and credibility,” says Terri White, editor-in-chief of film bible Empire. “The digital space is a hectic, loud, cluttered landscape with bloggers, influencers, journalists, editors, writers, marketeers all shouting into the void – their voices surfacing, or not, depending on SEO or algorithms. In such a crowded space, how do you ensure that people trust what they read on your website or social channels versus the other 30-odd people/brands in your area? How does your brand stand out?”
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