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

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."

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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