Glam Media, the seven year old vertical media company that calls itself “The Leading Curated Social Media Platform”, this Thursday started up a new social networking website for food lovers: www.foodie.com.
Glam Media has the highest portion of woman surfers, attracting 90 million active monthly users in the U.S., 200 million worldwide with Glam.com, Bliss.com, and a publisher network of more than 2,000 websites and blogs. The Foodie.com site is a significant departure from the type of websites Glam usually focuses on: fashion and health. Glam has concluded that the always popular topic of food and recipes will draw in a substantial number of users who will appreciate a social networking website devoted to their gastronomic interests.
Surfers who have Facebook or Twitter login credentials can use them to sign up to Foodie.com then share their thoughts and ideas about recipes, search through recipes, and follow food writers and chefs. Geoffrey Zakarian, the restauranter and television personality who won the Iron Chef contest, and food and critic and cookbook author Patricia Wells are among the writers that will be contributing content for Foodie.com.
Samir Arora, Glam’s chief executive, said in an interview with Reuters there is plenty of room in the social networking space for a specialized social website about food, because most users will have three or four social networking websites they log onto every day. Arora said Foodie will be one of those daily websites for users who have a significant interest in food and cooking. Arora said there is a huge demand from advertisers, noting that in its first quarter of 2011, Glam’s biggest portion of ad revenue came from food companies, and this was before Glam had much content about food.
Arora reasoned: “What that told us was that food brand advertisers really wanted Glam to create a food channel. And they did it by voting with their ad dollars.” General Mills, Betty Crocker, and Dannon are among the first companies launching advertizing campaigns on Foodie.com
Glam’s launch of Foodie.com comes after its purchase of social networking website Ning in September, and ahead of an initial public offering for which it is expected to file a prospectus in the second quarter of 2012. Glam purchased Ning, which bills itself as “the world’s largest platform for creating social websites” for $150 million. Arora said Glam plans to uses Ning’s technology to create more niche social networking websites aimed at specific areas of interest. Glam is also moving forward in the old media world, with plans to publish a book detailing the top 100 restaurants in different regions, and other guidebooks about food.