BuzzFeed CEO: ‘We drive the trains’ on Facebook’s ‘railroad tracks’

BuzzFeed says that ads on its site get an average of 40% additional views from people sharing them on social media and that readers are between 10 and 20 times more likely to click on them than on an average banner ad. …

[T]he sharing of sponsored content is the centerpiece of BuzzFeed’s business model. [BuzzFeed CEO Jonah] Peretti is so sure about the premise that he has dispensed with traditional banner advertising entirely. …

BuzzFeed also has been strengthening its ties to Facebook. In September, BuzzFeed hired former Facebook communication designer Jeff Greenspan to be creative chief. The company also acquired Kingfish Labs, a start-up that gathers Facebook data. And when Facebook wanted to try a new ad format, it tapped BuzzFeed as part of a select group to test it, Facebook says.

“We are very complementary companies,” Mr. Peretti says. “They own the railroad tracks, we drive the trains.”

Keach Hagey, The Wall Street Journal

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