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This week Distributor’s Link Magazine made an exciting an announcement, with the launch of a brand new app. The new Link app was created to continue giving readers the best experience possible, and in today’s ever growing technology-focused world that experience calls for mobile accessibility. According to Pew Research Center, 90% of American adults own a cell phone, and 63% of American adults use their cell phones to go online. The Link Magazine app meets the demand of those large numbers, and it offers some exciting features that fastener professionals can utilize. Fastener News Desk was able to speak with Link Magazine’s Director of Sales and Marketing Tracey Lumia about the new app and the future of the magazine:


What inspired you to create a LINK Magazine app?

Link Magazine has been a traditional print publication for the past 38 years.  When we took the leap into online publishing 5 years ago, we did this knowing that we wanted to suit the needs of a multi-generational industry.  Online readership has grown extensively over that time since our online inception and it is now more popular than ever.  That said, the technology and reader behavior has again changed in recent times with the advent of mobile media in the form of smartphones and tablets.

Wanting again to stay ahead of the curve and give our readers the best experience possible, we decided it was time to again embrace new technology and allow our readers to enjoy the true spirit of mobile media. Now you can read Link Magazine, virtually anytime, anywhere.


Can you tell us about some of the app features or how it works?

When we designed the new app we had 3 criteria: [1] We wanted it to be simple and intuitive to use – for those who are seasoned mobile media users and also for those who are using it for the first time.  [2] We wanted an app that was lightweight, not overly bloated with information and data heavy for the user, and [3] We wanted to add convenience – an app that was truly mobile in every sense and not tied to the restrictions of network connectivity.  In that regard, once an issue has been downloaded, it can be viewed and searched completely offline – no internet connection is required.  Surely a great feature for all those on the road or who travel by plane. Catch up on the latest news and articles, wherever, whenever without using up your valuable data plan or having to find a local Wi-Fi connection.

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The newly released Link app fulfills all the above criteria.  Just go to the App Store or iTunes and search Link Magazine. Once downloaded, it’s ready to use right away.  Simply tap on an issue to download and start reading.  Every issue since the inception of our digital magazine is archived in the App Library.  Switch between issues easily and effortlessly, with the ability to read, zoom in, and link to an advertiser’s website with the tap of the screen.

The app is more than just a magazine reader though, it’s a reference library for the industry. The BEST feature about the new app is the search function.  Want to find something quickly?  The keyword search not only references the latest issue, but all issues in the archives. Now you can find results over the last 5 years!  It is our hope that users will refer back to the app more and more, use it as a tool, and realize that all the information they need is right there in one convenient place.


How is digital media advancing your readership?

We believe that by using digital media as an outlet for Link Magazine, we have grown and retained readership, and made ourselves more accessible than ever before.  The online edition added convenience and put us at the readers fingertips, now the new app will push those boundaries further, being available with the swipe of a finger and a tap on the screen.

We are in a time of instant gratification, where people demand knowledge and information in a second. We believe that by launching this app, not only will we give the readers what they want in that respect – ease, convenience and portability, but offer something more – resourcefulness and information in a time and space where it’s not currently available.


What role do you feel social media plays in the fastener industry? And do you see that role changing in the future?

We all know that social media encompasses hundreds of ways to communicate worldwide through many different applications on the internet.  It’s a powerful marketing tool for all industries! At the end of the day, we are still a service orientated industry and have to satisfy our customer’s needs.  I cannot predict where the emergence of new social media content will come from over the next ten years, but I will predict a marketing challenge from unprecedented information increases on the web. It will be harder and harder to get your message through. That is why Link Magazine is staying ahead of the social media curve and making it easy for our advertisers to directly reach potential customers without having to navigate through a maze of search engines that will take you in other directions.


The fastener industry has taken a slow start in recognizing the value of social media as the communication tool of the future, are you seeing more advertisers adding the social icons and addresses in their print ads?

Some people say our industry is slow to use the tools that social media gives us. But companies like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn are really only ten years old or less. Our industry has kept up and is still using EDI systems for over 20 years. The smaller fastener distributors are adapting and realizing the marketing power of social media and the larger companies are already there and have plans for the future.

We are definitely seeing an increase in participation. As companies are being educated in the benefits of using social media, we are encouraging them to engage on a daily basis and to include the icons on all of their promotional material, including their ads in Link Magazine. There has been a definite shift over the past year and it is very exciting to see fastener companies signing on and sharing information on their companies as well as industry news in general.


Do you foresee a time in the future where the printed version of magazines will become obsolete?

We have been publishing Link Magazine since 1976 and our print version has never been stronger. Magazines have an infinite shelf life and become a resource over time. They engage your senses: sight, touch, smell; the sound of the pages turning. There is something about receiving a magazine in the mail and going through it page by page. That demand will never go away.


A huge thank you to Tracey Lumia for taking the time to speak with us. Fastener News Desk has downloaded and explored the new app, and we are very excited about this great new technology for the fastener industry. Download the app from the iTunes store here, and follow @OfficialLinkMag for more updates!

Hashtags: #fasteners #ThinkLINK #app #technology

To view the Spring 2015 Issue of Link Magazine and other current publications, visit our magazines page.

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think link

Fasteners, Technology