Conde Nast's Flip.com gets an extreme makeover

After its social network for teenage girls failed to achieve any real traction, the media giant opted to focus on creating applications for other social networks.

It may be too soon to say Flip.com has completely flopped, but Conde Nast has indeed flipped its strategy.

The teenage girl-centric site, which the company's CondeNet Web unit launched last February, has been morphed from a standalone social network to a set of distributed Web applications designed for existing social networks' developer platforms. It'll first go live on the Facebook Platform, according to Conde Nast.

In essence, the magazine-publishing giant realized that capitalizing on the popularity of existing social networks was probably a better strategy than trying to create its own.

The original Flip was centered around shared "flipbooks" that members could create using photos, videos, and other content--and as many predicted, it didn't gain a whole lot of momentum. Currently, it has only 300,000 registered users, and TechCrunch noted that traffic measured by ComScore has been plummeting.

The Flip home page will remain, but the majority of its features will be tweaked into applications suited for Facebook and its brethren. But this niche might not be any more open: companies like Slide and RockYou have already made it big as widget creators--not to mention the overwhelming glut of other applications that can make it extremely difficult to rise above the noise. Flip's new strategy will have to offer something really new.

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