FLTR, a weekly smartphone photography magazine launched for the iPhone
The team behind the British Journal of Photography launches iPhone-only magazine using the Mag+ platform
The world of photography has changed dramatically since the rise of digital cameras. Now it is changing again due to the simple fact that the majority of photographs are being taken using smartphones (or feature phones). Not surprising then that magazines would be created for smartphone photography, one of the first was from the blog Mobiography, but that digital magazine is native to the iPad (though the app itself is universal).
Apptitude Media, the new publishing company created by the publishing team behind the British Journal of Photography have launched a new iPhone photography magazine that can truly be called native to the iPhone – as it is exclusive to the iPhone.
FLTR: Smartphone Photography Magazine is a rarity, a Newsstand app that is for the iPhone alone. Using the Mag+ platform, the editor Olivier Laurent and creative director Mick Moore (and lets add in senior production editor Donatella Montrone) have created a digital magazine that is designed for smartphone reading, not simply converted from a print or tablet edition.
“Since 2007 and the launch of the first iPhone, large-screen, camera-sporting smartphones have become ubiquitous, transforming all of us into potential photographers,” writes Laurent in this opening column. “Coupled with the rise of social networking giants such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, we now have control over who sees our photographs and when. And we’re not holding back. Last year, more than 200,000 images were share on Facebook every minute, and next year it is estimated 880 billion images will be taken worldwide.”
The challenge, of course, is visualizing a digital magazine for the iPhone that is anything other than a text-heavy, plain-Jane publication such as The Magazine. But the team behind the new digital magazine have experience with both print and native tablet editions, so design is of utmost importance. Rather than simply putting a photograph at the top of the page and then following with text, the layouts here integrate their graphics in a more creative way.
“It is an exciting development as a publisher to create a bespoke publication built around smartphone photography that is designed for, and distributed on, the same device,” Marc Hartog, CEO of Apptitude Media, said in the company’s launch announcement. “We were fortunate to work with Mag+ to develop FLTR, which allowed us to create it on the most powerful, flexible and cost-effective digital publishing platform in the world.”
OK, that’s a bit of press release talk, but the idea is sound: the goal here was a native iPhone magazine app.
Although the magazine will include advertising, it will have to rely heavily on paid circulation and build up a sellable readership base. To encourage subscriptions, FLTR is offering a 5 issue free trial with an annual subscription (£13.99 / $19.99), while a monthly subscription is priced at only £1.49 ($1.99 in the US store).
Creating a weekly magazine will certainly be a challenge and whether readers are interested in a weekly digital magazine product will be interesting to see (Future’s digital-only magazine Photography Week is attempting this, as well).
But there is no question that some of the most interesting and successful digital publishing efforts are occurring within the photography category – here is yet another one.