The New York Times | Beta Beat
Brian Stelter reports that Doree Shafrir will expand culture coverage for BuzzFeed, which recently hired Ben Smith from Politico as editor-in-chief. A couple of reactions:
- Rafat Ali: “The gold dust around BuzzFeed is incredible.”
- The Atlantic Wire’s Adam Clark Estes: “I’m immediately wondering about the future of @RollingStone— Big hire for @BuzzFeed.”
In an interview published earlier this week by Beta Beat, BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti said, “Right now our front page audience is people in their 20s and 30s who are culturally savvy or more coastal, like more big cities. … A lot of them come to BuzzFeed to find things to share.” So what’s most shareable? “Novelty is viral; humor is often viral, as are things that inspire awe or a strong emotion other than sadness,” Adrianne Jeffries reports.
A lot of Mr. Peretti’s strategy has to do with appealing to people’s vanity: You want them to feel good about themselves for discovering a thing and proud to be the first one to show it to their friends. That means that some things aren’t “shareable” — sex tapes, nasty stories and celebrity dross, for instance, which Mr. Peretti calls “guilty pleasures.” Those tend to be spread by email and word of mouth, which are much less contagious than social media.