There’s something curiously addictive about skimming through catalogs of the latest fashions and electronics sales when they arrive at your door each weekend, and Flipboard is now trying to tap into that very experience. In an update today on both iOS and Android, Flipboard will begin to allow users and companies to create shopping catalogs complete with bright red price tags that link directly to where an item can be purchased. When a product is added to Flipboard, the service will now begin trying to detect what its price is, and it'll automatically display that information right beside it on the page.
Flipboard isn't handling payments... yet
Actually buying those products still isn’t as seamless as it could be. Tapping on the price tag will take you straight to where the item can be purchased, but it’ll just be a plain old webpage, and you’ll still have to go through a normal checkout process and enter in a credit card every time. It’s easy to imagine that one day Flipboard might know your credit card number and let you make purchases from directly inside of a magazine — it’s a terrifying thought for impulse shoppers, but something that Flipboard says isn’t on the roadmap (not yet, at least). For now, Flipboard isn't even directly making money off of the payments that it helps to facilitate.
A number of retailers, including Banana Republic, Fab, and ModCloth, are launching catalogs on Flipboard today that will take advantage of the new features. Magazines don't have to be dedicated to shopping to take advantage of the price tags though, as users and retailers can mix traditional articles and images in with the new product listings. The end result is a Flipboard with pages that are just a little bit richer than they used to be. While that's not too much of a change for now, it's clear just what it could turn into down the road.