Executive Briefing

Glossier was building its own social network for years. Great idea or terrible idea?

Companies that sell physical products should think about making digital products. But it’s a different game.

Glossier founder Emily Weiss
Glossier founder Emily Weiss / Courtesy Glossier

Glossier, the pioneering direct-to-consumer beauty brand, has famously used social media, digital content, and community as foundational parts of its business.

Less well-known: That for years — and until recently — Glossier had been developing its own social platform.

Founder and CEO Emily Weiss talked vaguely about it in an interview with Kara Swisher in early 2019, hinting at a tool where people “could really connect to find the information or the inspiration that they need really quickly.”

The idea, I’ve heard, was that it was intended to be a place where people could connect and talk about beauty products and routines — a more vertically focused Reddit, you might say. Or perhaps a reinvention of Into The Gloss’s comments section — that was Weiss’s popular beauty blog that led her to launch Glossier in 2014 and helped shape its early products through user feedback.

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Dan Frommer

Hi, I’m Dan Frommer and this is The New Consumer, a publication about how and why people spend their time and money.

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