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Upworthy’s recently launched promoted posts are a resounding success

Over just three months, “pro­mot­ed posts” (native adver­tis­ing) on NY start­up Upwor­thy have out­per­formed the site’s stan­dard edi­to­r­i­al posts. Adver­tis­ing as mean­ing­ful posts Every busi­ness devel­op­ment man­ag­er in Adland now knows that Upworthy’s spe­cial­i­ty is get­ting vis­i­tors to click on entic­ing head­lines and send the con­tent viral by shar­ing. With 10 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors in June alone, this NYC start­up is cer­tain­ly going places; and with brand adver­tis­ing through “pro­mot­ed posts” putting in such a strong per­for­mance, the tra­jec­to­ry is def­i­nite­ly up. Resem­bling its NY neigh­bor Buz­zFeed in some respects, Upwor­thy curates and repack­ages select­ed con­tent through clev­er­ly craft­ed head­lines that just beseech you to share them. But as well-informed busi­ness devel­op­ment man­agers will be aware, Upworthy’s dis­tin­guish­ing fea­ture is its empha­sis on mean­ing­ful posts, as opposed to tit­il­lat­ing tit­­tle-tat­­tle or per­son­al­i­ty quizzes. Now, that might have posed a prob­lem for those inter­est­ed in the arts of dri­ving online adver­tis­ing sales. But three months ago, Unilever became the first big brand to work with Upwor­thy on its new “Col­lab­o­ra­tions” pro­gram, with a native adver­tis­ing cam­paign con­sist­ing of pro­mot­ed posts and curat­ed con­tent to pro­mote the “Project Sun­light” ini­tia­tive. This aimed at encour­ag­ing peo­ple to live sus­tain­ably in Unilever’s terms, “cre­ate…

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Revealed: Upworthy’s new revenue model

There can’t be many social media man­agers who haven’t heard of New York’s mete­or­i­cal­ly suc­cess­ful viral aggre­ga­tion and con­tent shar­ing start-up Upwor­thy; and with its recent­ly announced mon­e­ti­za­tion plan, there’ll be few­er still. Col­lab­o­rat­ing on native adver­tis­ing Last Octo­ber, short­ly after it raised $8 mil­lion in Series A, its exec­u­tives were already talk­ing about mak­ing mon­ey through spon­sored adver­tis­ing. Now they’ve lift­ed the veil on those plans: it’s going to bring in spon­sored con­tent through its new “Upwor­thy Col­lab­o­ra­tions” pro­gram. That might leave social media man­agers feel­ing puz­zled. Can native adver­tis­ing real­ly fit with a com­pa­ny ethos that’s osten­si­bly com­mit­ted to social issues? Here’s a state­ment from the recent com­pa­ny blog unveil­ing the ini­tia­tive: they’ve clear­ly antic­i­pat­ed that ques­tion: “We know there are seri­ous con­cerns any time a media com­pa­ny decides to work with adver­tis­ers. The most impor­tant thing for us is to find a way to grow with integri­ty while retain­ing your trust. That’s why it’s so impor­tant to us to be straight up with you — our com­mu­ni­ty — and let you know what we’re doing and why we’re doing it. We’ll keep tweak­ing this mod­el as we learn and get feed­back from you, but we both believe…

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New York social media startup Upworthy makes videos that matter go viral like no one else

Upworthy’s co-founder, Peter Koech­ley describes how his media site suc­ceeds in its mis­sion: to make videos with impor­tant con­tent – con­tent that real­ly impacts on how peo­ple live their lives — go “as viral as some idiot surf­ing off his roof”, to bor­row from the web­site. He puts it like this: “From the very begin­ning we said we’re not going to do news. It sort of feels like tod­dlers play­ing soc­cer. Everyone’s run­ning after the ball. We want to be doing some­thing that adds val­ue. Instead of doing the most time­ly thing, or to have it first, we kind of want to be the place that’s reli­ably great, even though we’re not first. And in that sense we’re more magazine‑y than newsy. We’re adding more con­text, and frankly not stress­ing about top­ics that oth­er peo­ple are talk­ing about.” Social media man­agers will doubt­less be intrigued as to how the site is kept ‘reli­ably great’; Upwor­thy pro­claims that its video con­tent is “…sen­sa­tion­al and sub­stan­tial. Enter­tain­ing and enlight­en­ing. Shock­ing and sig­nif­i­cant.” And with its vast fol­low­ing on Face­book, that claim is no exag­ger­a­tion. Spon­sored con­tent Hav­ing recent­ly raised $8 mil­lion in Series A fund­ing (it raised $4 mil­lion last Octo­ber), Upwor­thy…

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