WePresent: Changing perceptions of branded content

As WeTransfer’s editorial website, WePresent, celebrates its first birthday, Editor Rob Alderson reflects on how brands are now less “guarded and precious” in what could be a new era for branded content that evokes a bygone era of long-form journalism

When WePresent first announced itself on Twitter, it got a user response that has stuck in the team’s mind: “Just send my files, you fucking hipsters.”

Rob Alderson was brought on to edit WeTransfer’s new editorial website after many years as the editor of It’s Nice That, the London-based design and creativity website. The tweet, he says, neatly encapsulated some of the difficulties that brands such as WeTransfer face when it comes to the hoary old subject of branded content.

Before Alderson arrived at the company, the Amsterdam-based file transfer service had made an internal commitment to dedicate 30% of the site’s wallpapers (which appear as you prepare to send or download files) to the work of artists, but how could the team communicate this in a more nuanced way?