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Flipboard goes commercial with shopping catalogs curated by brands, celebrities and users


Plenty of companies have tried to digitize the shopping catalog experience, to varying degrees of success. But, if anybody has a chance at truly capturing the pleasure of flipping through glossy pages filled with the latest fashions and gadgets, it's gotta be Flipboard. The app has already brought some of the joy of paging through magazines to tablets and phones, now it's turned its eye towards commerce. Along with news, technology and sports, you'll also now find a shopping category. Inside are catalogs assembled by the likes of Banana Republic, which can even be divided into smaller sub sections such as fall flannels, complete with giant red buttons that allow you to buy the products you see. But, Flipboard isn't stopping with the traditional company catalog, it's also delivering curated shopping experiences, built by celebrities and regular users. It's a move that pushes it into much more direct competition with a service like Pinterest. An updated bookmarklet will let users clip products, complete with category and pricing details, and add them to a customized collection.

At launch Flipboard won't allow users to earn cash through affiliate links, though, that may change in time. Instead, it's focusing on building out its shopping category at the moment by adding lists from public personalities and bringing in new retail partners. Though, it may be slow going at first since each catalog has to be hand formatted by the Flipboard team. You'll find the new shopping section in your Flipboard app today, nestled between sports and photo & design.

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