It's actually a pretty clever strategy by Flock: Build customized versions of the company's social browser, populated with vertically-targeted content from an array of partners -- and in return expose Flock to those sites' communities.
First up was an Eco Edition, with 10% of search revenue donated to a charity of the community's choice. And today Flock announced the new Gloss Edition, described as "the world’s first and only fashion and entertainment browser." The special version of the browser comes pre-populated with news, photos, videos and feeds from more than 35 fashion and entertainment blogs, websites and online communities. Content partners include Popsugar, InStyle.com, Glam.com, ThisNext.com, Ecorazzi.com, DesignerApparel.com and "other leading style and entertainment brands".
“The Gloss Edition, together with the recently released Eco-Edition, demonstrates the power of Flock’s platform to serve diverse groups who are deeply passionate about a variety of interests," said Shawn Hardin, CEO of Flock in a written statement.
While Ryan Roslansky, Vice President, Products & Content, Glam Media said: “With integration at the browser level, we’ll be able to reach new audiences while providing an easy way for consumers to access content from our more than 500 popular lifestyle publishers in the Glam Network.”
Taking RSS mainstream
At the heart of this strategy is the way Flock is attempting to take RSS mainstream. By pre-populating a version of Flock with aggregated content targeting a particular interest group, for those users, the company is taking away the grudge work (and technical expertise) needed to benefit from RSS, whether it be in order to subscribe to pictures, text or video from a variety of sources. Instead, specific vertical content is conveniently bundled together into one neat little package, ready for consumption, and with Flock's social features, sharing.
As a result, content partners benefit from cross promotion by being included in the Flock Gloss Edition, which, through RSS updates and the browser's social features, should drive new and repeat visitors - while Flock benefits by, presumably, being promoted to those site's existing communities.