Handbag.com uses social networking

The digital publishing arm of Natmags is to relaunch its flagship women’s portal Handbag.com, with a heavy emphasis on social networking and personalisation functions.

The company has been previewing the redesigned site to ad buyers this week ahead of a scheduled 10 September relaunch, said Hearst Digital Network managing director Nancy Cruickshank.

‘It’s using new technology, new content management systems and it puts our audience right at the heart of our product,’she said.

‘It will let you do all those Web 2.0 things, like housing your blog on the site.”

The key new functionality is a MyHandbag social networking feature.

‘You can find pictures that you like in galleries on the site, or product information, and grab it to put it in and put the in your handbag,’explained Cruickshank.

Profile pages for the social network will be part of the initial launch, with additional features to be rolled out until the end of the year.

Cruickshank said the relaunched site will serve as a blueprint for a planned overhaul of the other titles in Natmags’ portfolio of websites.

In its last published ABCe figure, for October 2006, Handbag.com recorded 1.16 million unique users. Cruikshank said that the new ABCe audit shows that the site now has just over 1.5 million users.

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