Timelines Brings Personalized Social Sharing to Life.com
As part of Time Inc.'s effort to leverage archival assets for new products, Life.com has launched Timelines, a user-generated feature allowing individuals to tell personal stories by drawing from a pool of more than 10 million images in Life.com's collection.
Life, the first and most famous photo news magazine, ceased publication as a free-standing print product in 2000, but lives on as a website offering interactive experiences with iconic images culled from Life and Getty Images. Timelines, launched Aug. 4, allows users to create "interactive photo stories" around personal stories or themes using an intuitive drag-and-drop interface, publish the timeline to Life.com and share creations using Facebook and other applications.
"Timelines tell a story—varying from a major historical event to last night's big game—in an exciting visual way," states a press release. "... Individuals who sign up at Life.com will get the chance to select their own photos from the collection, place them in the order they choose, write headlines and captions and then publish their timeline on Life.com to share."
Publishing Executive Inbox asked Bill Shapiro, managing editor of Life.com, for his thoughts on the new product.
INBOX: How does Timelines represent a new way to repurpose content for social media?
BILL SHAPIRO: Life Timelines allows users to tell a story in their own way through the classic Life archive of 9 million images [along with photos from Getty Images]. Timelines gives users the power to pick the details and images that are most meaningful to them. With Timelines, users can share their knowledge and passion about a particular topic, whether it's World War II or Elvis Presley, with other Life fans and then distribute those galleries and images across Facebook, Stumble Upon, Twitter and other social platforms.
INBOX: Why do you think the timeline concept is so well suited to social sharing?