Everybody’s doing lists these days. Their popularity in digital circles makes them great fodder for content of all types. While they are one of the content darlings du jour, lists aren’t new. In fact, some of the most popular lists are decades old: People magazine’s Most Beautiful People list debuted in 1991 and the Inc. 5000 dates back to 1982.
One of the most venerable lists, The Forbes 400, also debuted in 1982 and was followed three years later by the introduction of its World’s Billionaires list, which comes out every March and provides a ranking of the world’s wealthiest people. And, as lists proliferate online, Forbes continues to build upon its established brand with the introduction this week of a new digital tool and wealth-tracking platform that provides real-time updates on the net worth and ranking for each individual featured on the Forbes World’s Billionaires List.
Luisa Kroll, Wealth Editor at Forbes, can attest to the popularity of lists: “Given the pop culture world that we live in, it is no surprise that people like lists. Certainly, there are times when people like long-form, in-depth coverage, which we provide. But there are lots of times in which people like easily-digestible news and The Billionaires and the Forbes 400—which offer both—are two of our most popular products.”
While she believes there will be a segment of readers who look for these lists once or twice a year, she also feels confident that there’s a significant group of readers who will find it useful to track Forbes’ Billionaires in real-time. That segment includes “traders, individuals looking for investment ideas; people particularly fascinated with, say, tech titans. Also, a lot of the people on our list are CEOs of companies around the world, who people are tracking for a variety of reasons.” For example, there’s been a lot of buzz about The Buffet Bracket contest in which Buffet, who ranks 4th on Forbes list of billionaires, offered to award $1 billion for a perfect March Madness bracket. As Kroll points out, quite a few people would be interested to know he made more than a billion dollars the day he announced the contest.
For the launch of the new wealth tracking platform, Forbes will track the net worth of the more than 1,600 individuals who qualified for the Forbes World’s Billionaires List this year. Forbes will continue to add to that group over the course of 2014 as new ten-figure fortunes are discovered. The value of individuals’ public holdings will be updated every five minutes when respective markets are open. Billionaires who only have holdings in private companies will have their net worth updated once a day.
The tool was developed in-house under the direction of Chief Product Officer, Lewis D’Vorkin. The profile pages, which include net worth, general biographical information and news related to the individual, are all mobile-optimized. Kroll notes that the content is “really well-suited to mobile devices,” and emphasizes that “mobile is increasingly part of every discussion we have.”
As Kroll points out, “Forbes has been chronicling the ups and downs of the world’s wealthiest for over a quarter of a century and The Forbes brand is beloved and trusted. Now we can deepen that connection by providing readers with the most current information when and where they want it.”