Playboy Optimizes Site for Social Media

Aug 22, 2014 2:30 PM PST

LOS ANGELES — Yesterday 60-year-old mens’ mag Playboy gave its site (spry at 20) a makeover, designed to optimize its content for social media sharing and resonate with contemporary readers.

“The new Playboy.com is going to be possibly the greatest site on the Internet,” Cory Jones, senior vice president of digital content at Playboy, told AdAge. “We’re going to cover everything from entertainment to humor to style, fashion, as well as girls, but whenever we create a piece of content, we ask ourselves, ‘Would I send this to a friend?’ because that’s the best way to tell people about Playboy.com.”

Although the Playboy.com of (literally) yesterday only featured nude women on its subscription site, its homepage was still rife with scantily clad women, perhaps discouraging people from, say, sharing a good article on Facebook, where their mom, co-worker and underage nephew are lurking. Now the ladies have all been sectioned off into the Girls category, leaving the homepage virtually sans adult (RE: not a boob in sight).

 “We developed everything on the site for social,” said Phillip Morelock, Playboy’s chief product officer, echoing Jones. “We’re focused on Facebook now because that’s where our largest audience is.” Upwards of 60 million articles and other Playboy.com content are shared on Facebook every month.

Playboy reports that more than 60 percent of its traffic comes via social, making it a more pressing priority than mobile. As of last Wednesday,  Playboy had 15.6 million Facebook fans, 881,000 Twitter followers, 1 million YouTube subscribers, 1.4 million Instagram followers and 62,400 Vine followers.

The site has attracted several big advertisers, including Bud Light, Hornitos and Dimension Films, which is releasing “Sin City: A Dame to Kill For” this month.

"What Playboy does for some brands is build credibility in utilizing a natural approach to sexiness in the entertainment business," explained Bladmiar Norman, Dimension Films’ senior vice president of marketing. Playboy.com's number-one "Latest" article is a Q&A with Frank Miller, the creator of the "Sin City" and "300" graphic novels adapted into hit Hollywood films. 

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