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Hearst and Kaboodle: Social Shopping

Posted on 8.08.2007

Hearst announced today that it has acquired Kaboodle.

"We understand very well that people want to collaborate while shopping," Hearst Interactive President Kenneth Bronfin told Reuters. "We think this marriage of community with shopping is a big and important prospect."

Hearst is expected to build pages on Kaboodle featuring products from many of its 19 U.S. magazine titles, such as Cosmopolitan and Good Housekeeping, hoping to generate activity from its 30 million Hearst unique monthly Web visitors.

While you may not be on the social shopping bandwagon, there will probably still be a whole slew of social shopping related acquisitions in the coming months. I personally believe a better strategy for Kaboodle would have been to follow the Buy.com/Facebook strategy, layering its social shopping technology on top of existing services, focusing on applications that push products to untapped audiences.

Hearst on the other hand could have done any number of things outside of acquiring an unproven service like Kaboodle- Cosmopolitan Beauty tip widgets (would the teens and tweens love that or what?), Good Housekeeping tips (Moms? let me hear you!), the list is endless. I don't see any direct synergy in this relationship - let's hope they have something better planned than just featuring Hearst products.

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