New Hope: Esquire’s Interactive Issue

Yes, we’ve been a tad snarky lately when it comes to paper interactivity…and we stand by everything we’ve said so far. (For those keeping track at home, you’ll find our gripes here and here.) But a new experiment in the December issue of Esquire may have finally gotten us past interactivity for interactivity’s sake.

Two years in the making, the December issue uses technology from Netpage to enable anybody with a smartphone or tablet computer to:

  • Clip any pages from the print issue in a high-resolution format for later reading
  • Save those clippings inside the app itself
  • Organize clippings into separate folders
  • Share clipped articles or ads via Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, email or text message
  • Purchase any items in the magazine
  • Play videos associated with content in the print edition.

So if I spot a print-only piece in the magazine that I’d love to read later and share with my friend, I can pull out my smartphone, tap the screen, and it’s now available to me anytime. And the ability to organize these clippings means I can have folders for recipes, hobbies and my professional work, too.

To date, other magazines have employed “augmented reality” apps that concentrate exclusively on the least interesting offerings listed above – videos and product purchasing – which begs the question: Why don’t I just read the tablet version of the magazine? The Esquire experiment acknowledges that we live in the real world and the online one, and appreciates that these constantly overlap throughout the day.

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