BuzzFeed added 40 percent server capacity to handle its coverage of 'The Dress'

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In a post on BuzzFeed's tech blog Friday, publisher Dao Nguyen recounted the heady hours after BuzzFeed published "The Dress," a viral post that has so far attracted more than 28 million views.

According to Nguyen's post, which chronicles a four-hour period after the post was published, BuzzFeed added 40 percent server capacity to handle the sudden influx of traffic the story generated. By 9:02 p.m., the post had already pushed BuzzFeed over its traffic record, with 431,000 active visitors on the site. Traffic continued to increase until it hit 673,000.

Nguyen also talked to Samir Mezrahi, a senior editor at BuzzFeed, about how the post gained traction on social media. He says he first tried tweeting it because BuzzFeed staffers were talking about it and saw a big response. When he to share the story as a photo post on Facebook, it didn't get much attention, so he tried sharing it as a link:

Twitter was doing so well, I decided to just post it again and saw it immediately rise in the live stats and get tons of comments on Facebook. Then I deleted the original photo post and the rest is history.

Nguyen writes that BuzzFeed had prepared for the sudden traffic spike by investing in infrastructure and running drills. All of BuzzFeed's posts about "The Dress" were viewed a combined 41 million times from every country in five languages, Nguyen writes.

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    Benjamin Mullin

    Benjamin Mullin is the managing editor of He previously reported for Poynter as a staff writer, Google Journalism Fellow and Naughton Fellow, covering journalism innovation, business practices and ethics.


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