PopSugar got a new look this week, and even though the site has done away with its poppy fuchsia logo, its “don’t hate on my happy” ethos is still firmly in place.
The company’s signature hot pink logo with a star is now slate gray with a period, signaling the shift from popsugar.com’s celebrity roots to expanded areas of editorial coverage. Highlights and accents across the site are now an Yves Klein blue.
In addition to beauty and fashion, the fitness and food verticals have seen strong growth during the past year, supporting the site’s mission to becoming a “global lifestyle media platform,” according to Brian Sugar, chief executive officer of PopSugar Inc.
“Entertainment and pop culture was core at the beginning. We clearly needed a star [in the logo] and pink sounded perfect for this kind of thing,” Sugar told WWD. “But, culturally the world has changed so much in the past 10 years. It went from ‘hey, it’s all about celebrity” to ‘hey, it’s all about you.’”
Sugar said the company has grown — it now employs nearly 500 — and although pop culture is still important, healthy living, fitness and being a young mom became more important.
PopSugar was founded nine years ago by Lisa Sugar, who made sure that instead of mimicking the snarky tone often found on competing sites, popsugar.com published fun, friendly and relatable content. This brand of nice is working.
Monthly page views clocked in at 1.3 billion in October and more than 700 million in November, with daily average users hovering around 3.5 million. Almost 70 percent of this traffic comes from mobile and PopSugar’s apps. An enormous amount of content is produced per day — 200 to 300 posts and about 10 videos. PopSugar also produces Facebook specific videos daily.
Industry experts estimate that PopSugar and its ShopStyle fashion search engine and social shopping Web site will take in a combined $150 million in revenue this year, a 25 percent increase from 2014 revenues of about $120 million.
PopSugar is also in the midst of an international push. Of the site’s 85 million monthly unique visitors last month, almost 30 million of these came from outside the U.S., Sugar said. A PopSugar China site soft launched in November and a Middle East destination will soft launch later this month — both will see official roll outs in the first quarter of next year.
“We’ve been thinking about the proper way of launching there,” Sugar said about partnering with Nervora to license the PopSugar brand throughout Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and other places in the region.
“If we launched PopSugar exactly as it stands, it wouldn’t work there. We have to go in with a tour guide or an ambassador. Religion stories will not be that prominent, and sex and religion are an area that we have to treat with immense caution and be very respectful of the views,” Sugar said. The Middle East and China will see a mix of localized content and translations of existing PopSugar stories.
In China, Trends Media Group is working with PopSugar, and for the moment, content on PopSugar and ShopStyle is just being translated into Mandarin.
ShopStyle launched in English in the Middle East in November and will roll out in Arabic in the second half of next year.