Comixology needs to pay attention to this. Publishers are gravitating towards the giant social network with Facebook apps featuring their content and Graphicly has done just that. Graphicly launched a new Facebook app yesterday that lets comic book publishers host their content within the social network.
The app basically makes it much easier to expose new and casual fans to a wide selection of comic books, according to Graphicly founder and CEO Micah Baldwin.
“Most of our users are actually new comic book readers who have never been exposed to comics before” – CEO Micah Baldwin
I got a chance to quickly check this out and the experience is pretty enjoyable. Facebook users first choose a particular comic they’d like to read and select it, which is then displayed in the app window within the publisher’s Facebook page. The size of the comic is smaller, but users can choose to view it in full screen mode without degrading the quality of the images. Two pages appear on the screen at a time — just like you’d see when opening a physical, paper version of the comic — and can navigate back and forth using arrow buttons in the menu bar (see screenshot). The Facebook app also features Graphicly’s panel-by-panel view setting that’s available on other Graphicly platforms (web, desktop, iPhone, iPad, etc.).
The one thing you won’t find on Graphicly’s Facebook app for publishers is its own branding. The only reference that’s made to the service is within a word-less icon that pops up when users mouse over a comic that’s being read through the app. When clicked, the icon sends the user to Graphicly’s website to view that particular comic, which they can then purchase, rate or discuss. The company has lots of integration with Facebook for its commenting and sharing. Eventually, users will also be able to purchase comics using Facebook Credits, according to Baldwin.
Right now, Graphicly boasts a large number of major comic book publishers, including Marvel, Archie Comics, IDW, Boom Studios and more. However, both smaller publishers and creator-owned works are getting added to the service each week and will also have the ability to feature their comic books through the Graphicly Facebook App.
“I think we’re gravitating to a model that lets anyone use the Facebook app to showcase their work, but for now its only available for publishers (featured on the Graphicly platform),” Baldwin said.