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BuzzFeed, New York’s startup “media company for the social age”, looks set to double its revenues in 2014

Informed social media man­agers will be aware that New York start­up Buz­zFeed announced a record prof­it back in August. And the trend appears to be con­tin­u­ing – the com­pa­ny has recent­ly fore­cast rev­enues of around $120m for 2014, dou­ble the fig­ure for 2013.3

Even the most bat­tle-hard­ened social media man­agers would con­cede that under the stew­ard­ship of its founder and CEO, Jon­ah Peretti (the same Jon­ah Peretti who co-found­ed the Huff Post), BuzzFeed’s progress has been impres­sive.

An adver­tis­ing mag­net?

The pro­jec­tion for 2014 is report­ed­ly depen­dent on the num­ber of adver­tis­ing deals the start­up man­ages to secure dur­ing the year; but in August, a NewsWhip study revealed that the van­guard online pub­lish­er had accrued 15.9 mil­lion likes, shares and com­ments on Face­book alone in a sin­gle month. Adver­tis­ers won’t need much per­suad­ing that Buz­zFeed is a pret­ty safe bet for reach­ing audi­ences. Big names like Toy­ota Motor Corp and GEC are already on board.

Pub­lish­ing appeal­ing and engag­ing news con­tent, quizzes and lists online that are designed for shar­ing on social media, Buz­zFeed has fast become one of New York’s hottest social media star­tups. Peo­ple just love shar­ing its con­tent – and with lists like “The 29 Most Impor­tant Twerk­ing Moments Of 2013”, who wouldn’t?

It attract­ed over 130 mil­lion unique vis­i­tors in Novem­ber – the startup’s biggest ever traf­fic vol­ume for a sin­gle month (more than it attract­ed in its first four years in fact). Ok, this was helped by an alter­ation in Facebook’s algo­rithm which now high­lights more Buz­zFeed sto­ries in user news, but it’s also a sign of the startup’s ris­ing suc­cess.

Intel­li­gent native 

Peretti has tak­en a high­ly intel­li­gent approach to native adver­tis­ing, eschew­ing ban­ner ads (unlike most tra­di­tion­al news sites) in favor of spon­sored ver­sions of its con­tent designed for adver­tis­ers, like the recent­ly added GIF feed which pro­motes Google+ Pho­tos or fea­tures that pro­mote the state lottery’s sea­son­al hol­i­day scratch-off games (most recent­ly, win­ter attrac­tions in New York).

Pret­ty much all social media man­agers would agree that Peretti’s pri­ma­ry aim for Buz­zFeed – that it func­tions as an engine for viral con­tent – has been admirably real­ized. The ear­li­er use of algo­rithms to choose sto­ries has giv­en way to a human edi­to­r­i­al team as the com­pa­ny has grown (it now employs 300 peo­ple) and it’s branched out to include video as well as text con­tent.

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  1. […] is large­ly owing to the fact that Buz­zFeed Enter­tain­ment is com­par­a­tive­ly video-rich, which means the lighter side of the Buz­zfeed busi­ness can reap the […]



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