Whisper Partners With Cabler Fusion

Making its television debut, social sharing app Whisper is partnering with youth-focused news-and-lifestyle cable network Fusion.
 
Per the content deal, Fusion’s editorial team plans to develop stories that are trending among Whisper users, then distribute them more broadly online and on TV.

One of several “anonymous” (or “anonymish”) social networks, Whisper has been trying to distinguish itself through such content deals. Led by Neetzan Zimmerman -- a former Gawker editor who joined Whisper as editor in chief in January -- the start-up recently entered into a similar tie-up with Buzzfeed.
 
Earlier this month, Fusion brought in Jorge Urrutia to oversee digital monetization efforts. Urrutia came from Huffington Post, where he served as vice president of operations, and helped develop the company’s native ad content studio, HuffPost Partner.
 
Upon his appointment, Urrutia told Social Media & Marketing Daily that “content development partnerships with publishers and platforms that appeal to our millennial audience” would be a top priority.
 
“We call it 'promiscuous content' -- we want to be where our audience is, unconstrained by our Web site,” he explained.  
 
Launched less than a year ago with the help of Univision and Walt Disney’s ABC News, Fusion is still putting its leadership team into place. Among other appointments, YouTube and Upworthy veteran Hong Qu recently joined the network as its chief technology officer, while Jezebel founder Anna Holmes recently came on as editor of digital voices and storytelling.
 
Whisper recently raised nearly $30 million -- just six months after its last capital raise -- at a reported valuation of about $200 million.
 
Perhaps hastening the start-up’s move into content, a number of top analysts and investors have questioned the longevity of “anonymous” social sharing.
 
Benchmark Capital partner Bill Gurley recently told Business Insider that the model would remain resistant to monetization, while Fred Wilson, managing partner at Union Square Ventures, called anonymous apps a fad.

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