Scott Lamb, VP international, Buzzfeed, told attendees at FIPP’s Digital Innovators’ Summit today in Berlin about the company’s decision to get into investigative journalism.
The social sharing platform, well-known for it’s ‘listicle’ story format and youth following, has addressed its audience’s “hunger for ground-breaking news,” and hired new journalists to reflect this. “We’re not trying to gain prestige,” he said.
Because of the access to data Buzzfeed has, they are able to take a closer look at what’s being shared and how, and can predict and react to changes in the marketplace and new reader desires. Lamb said that each editor has their own Social Lift Dashboard, which allows them to see a multitude of data about the stories they post, and allows the optimisation and promotion of content around the site and social feeds.
Lamb said that the data available allowed Buzzfeed to see that Pinterest is the number two social network for them, which led the company to change the site design/architecture to make sharing to this platform easier. “This invaluable but small tweak gained huge improvement,” he said.
And why has Buzzfeed exploded in the US and UK recently? According to Lamb, it’s due to a shift in the way people consume media on the web. “We used to have to use a portal to get into the web,” he said. “In today’s social age, they way you enter into web is to go on Facebook or Twitter, because you want to see what people in your network are doing. Social is our starting point.”
Making money is achieved by social content marketing, which Lamb says is “our way of saying native advertising.” He continued: “we help create content that lives on Buzzfeed and helps get their message across.”