This week, Condé Nast Traveler launched its new Gold List app, available for iOS and Android, to leverage the usefulness and popularity of its listings of hotels, resorts, restaurants and hotel bars as well as to maximize the social influence of this type of content. According to Creative Services Director Dana Devito, “social is a very big part of our editorial play online and off.”
The app, says Devito, “is a true extension of our brand, not just a guide.” In particular, she cites Condé Nast Traveler’s Tastemakers—something the publication recently introduced as it shifts from its focus on travel to a broader lifestyle perspective. Tastemakers are those the publication deems influential in a wide range of areas, who offer up their distinct view on the most interesting places, things to do, and much more. The app specifically leverages the social footprint of these tastemakers because, as Devito puts it, “the biggest form of ad delivery is word of mouth.” Within the app, each Very Important Tastemaker (including stylist Ann Caruso, gallery owner Blair Voltz Clark, and hotelier Jeff Klien) has their own “VIT” page which highlights their picks (look for more emphasis on these tastemakers in the publication’s website relaunch, coming in August).
The emphasis on social can be seen everywhere in the app but the social strategy is not solely focused on external channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Pinterest. They’ve included their own Pinterest-like virtual bookmarking tool which allows users to cut and paste photos and videos to populate their own public or private social stream, which Devito calls “our own Condé Nast Traveler inspiration board. ”Social integration was a key element of The Gold List app, says Devito, “because it creates a two-way platform. We’re not just pushing out information; we want to hear from our users too.”
At launch, the Gold List app includes more than 600 hotels and resorts and 300-plus restaurants and hotel bars, searchable by country, region and city. The top-ranked hotels and resorts were reader-selected in Condé Nast Traveler’s annual Reader’s Choice Survey. The app emphasizes Devito, “delivers on our twin promises of inspiration and service” with its “Stream” function, which provides a running visual archive of anything that users have shared or saved in the app. “The beautiful part of this app,” says Devito, “is that, sure, it is a resource to plan your next trip. But it is also a great tool to find a restaurant or bar at home or whatever city you find yourself in.”