Mobile

Flipboard dips its toes into commerce with its first ‘shop-able’ catalog

Flipboard is fast becoming the application of choice for millions of people who want a more glossy, magazine-like reading experience on their tablets and smartphones. A new commerce initiative launched Friday suggests that the startup aspires to spruce up mobile shopping as well.

The two-year-old Flipboard electronically delivered “The New Levi’s Collection” catalog to its 20 million users. “Flippers” (can we call Flipboard readers that?) can “flip” through pages of clothes from Levi’s fall collection and purchase items while in the application.

The company said that the Levi’s section, featured in the Style Category of its app, is the first “shop-able clothing catalog” to be offered on Flipboard.

The section also points to a potential new revenue stream for the startup; Flipboard will presumably take home a small percentage of sales made through its mobile applications. Flipboard did not immediately respond to a request for a comment on this matter.

The new edition also strikes me as content padding, which is a developing strategy . Case in point: Flipboard recently ventured into video for the first with the addition of video channels to its lineup. The more content Flipboard can offer people, the better. That way, should Twitter and Flipboard ever come to blows — a Flipboard representative previously told me that this relationship is hunky-dory — members will still have plenty of things to read, watch, and now buy.

Update: A Flipboard spokesperson said that the startup has a revenue sharing arrangement with Levi’s on advertisements. The company does not take a percentage of sales from the catalog as suggested above.

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