“The days of, ‘Do we publish on Facebook? Do we tweet?’ are over,” Buddy Media CEO Michael Lazerow told Betabeat. “Either you do it, or you’re crushed. Do it or go out of business.” Hearst Magazines must have got the memo, because its Digital Media unit just announced a partnership today to use Buddy Media’s platform to enhance its presence on Facebook. From its Midtown headquarters, Buddy Media will create “sapplets” (short for social applets) that overlay on the Facebook pages for titles like Cosmopolitan, Seventeen, and Marie Claire.
Sapplets like Buddy Media’s Interactive “Personality” Boutique, which recommends products based on answers to a personality quiz, introduce a game-like aspect into the Facebook page and encourage interaction. They also offer a handy new advertising vehicle for Hearst, which is probably why Kristine Welker, Hearst Digital Media’s chief revenue officer, was the point person on the deal. Hearst is further removing friction for potential advertisers by launching multiple brands (13 titles and websites will eventually be involved) at once. That way, if an advertiser wants to reach a certain demographic, they don’t have to negotiate with each magazine individually.
“Instead of doing one-off siloed programs, they’re almost selling it as part of a cable network that lives on top of Facebook,” Mr. Lazerow explained. But why “sapplet”? Did the world really need another word for a widget? “I can’t speak for the world, ” he said sharply.