Sorry, Social Media, You Just Can’t Give Us This…

We often write about magazines and what they offer – their lean-back reading experience; their escape from the digital world; even the luxuriously tactile feel of the experience.

And there’s one aspect of a print magazine that no digital version or experience will be able to replicate.

“The way we read magazines has changed. Many now have cross-platform audiences – that is, readers can access both print copies and digital (web or app) versions. But different titles have different reasons to go digital,” explains this article in The Conversation.

Some go to better match their readers’ behaviors. Others, to add interactive elements you can’t replicate in print. But then there’s a title like Porter, the ground-breaking publication from fashion e-tailer Net-a-porter.

The magazine, which was named luxury publisher of the year in 2015, has become a key part of the company’s long-term strategy.

“Personal preference, and maybe habit, will influence readers’ decisions to opt for either print or digital versions,” the article continues. “It’s tempting to say that we’re in a time of transition from old (print) to new (digital) technology, and that paper will eventually disappear.”

Tempting, but incorrect, as the article continues:

“The reality is the opposite. Newer magazines like Frankie, an Australian title popular among young women, and Collective, which tackles anything from business to lifestyle and culture, are thriving and selling in print in numbers that rival mainstream women’s magazines.”

What print magazines offer is beyond the social media communion we get all day long. Rather it’s an immersive, intense one-on-one relationship.

“While social media meets the need to feel part of a group, magazines offer something else: an immersion in a carefully curated space made by experts who share your interests,” the article continues.

This curation, this finite border created by experts, is one thing you cannot find online, and something which, apparently, we all still very much enjoy.