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Forbes Pictures a Social Future for its Apps with Camerama Acquisition

March 17, 2015 | By Michelle Manafy, Editorial Director – DCN @michellemanafy

Forbes Media has announced the acquisition of the private photo sharing app Camerama.  Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Effective immediately, the founder of Camerama Salah Akram Zalatimo will join the company as VP of Mobile Products, reporting to Forbes Media Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin. According to D’Vorkin the move does not signify an interest by Forbes to be in the photo sharing app business. Rather, Zalatimo will assume the responsibility of building on Forbes’ mobile strategy by developing a platform of apps for the company that leverages their core technology and feature set—such as profiling, notification, and sharing–which served as the foundation of Camerama.

According to D’Vorkin, “We have a vision for a platform of niche, or vertical, social apps where we build an experience around passionate members of communities, which is very different from a strategy to develop just another distribution channel for what we already have.” That strategy, says D’Vorkin includes creating an opportunity for like-minded groups of professionals to “discover each other, communicate, and be part of each other’s professional lives under the Forbes umbrella.”

He and Zalatimo discovered that they were like minded when they met socially last year and found that they were interested in each other’s businesses and in exploring the possibility of working on the future of mobile together. D’Vorkin points out that, given its DNA, Forbes is always interested in those with entrepreneurial vision and he admires both Zalatimo’s technological acumen, but also his business savvy and background, which includes stints at McKinsey & Company, Sony Music Entertainment and Bain.

That business savvy will come into play as he develops the Forbes mobile strategy D’Vorkin alluded to. “Advertisers like scale and reach,” he says. “They also like to reach targeted audiences.” With this acquisition, and with the addition of Zalatimo to the Forbes team, D’Vorkin sees a future that will allow his company “the ability to provide scale as well as targeted audiences in a social app setting.”

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