Viral Media Site BuzzFeed Launches Facebook App Edition to Gain Exposure

Today, viral media hub BuzzFeed is launches a Facebook app that aims to recreate the experience of discovering content on its website. Through the app, users can browse humorous images, interesting articles, and shocking videos, leave reactions using “LOL”, “Cute”, “Fail” and other buttons, and share BuzzFeed posts with friends via Facebook’s social plugins.

Along with yesterday’s release of the Wall Street Journal’s canvas app, the BuzzFeed app indicates a growing trend of publishers maximizing the exposure and referral traffic they gain from Facebook by creating standalone versions of their sites within the social network. BuzzFeed’s President Jon Steinberg tell us the company sees Facebook as “another type of news stand, and we want BuzzFeed to be available on every news feed stand people frequent.”

BuzzFeed was founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti, who previously cofounded the Huffington Post. The New York City-based site populates itself by algorithmically determining what content is trending on the internet, taking user submissions, and publishing picks by its editors. It now reports 15 million monthly unique visitors, and offers mobile app versions.

The company generates revenue in an innovative way. Rather than showing traditional display ads, it allows advertisers to sponsor BuzzFeed posts that mention them or relate to their business. BuzzFeed then dynamically selects the post related to a sponsor that is receiving the most engagement and shows it on the home page and as a “Partner” post amongst lists of organic content. In this way, BuzzFeed doesn’t actually show ads, just more content its visitors might have wanted to see anyway. BuzzFeed also has a program called Extensions that advertises for sponsored content on Twitter, Facebook via the Ads API, and other open inventory around the internet.

The BuzzFeed site displays Facebook’s Like, Send, and Comments Box social plugins as well as sharing buttons for several other platforms. Steinberg tells us that “Facebook is one of our largest sources of referral traffic, accounting for millions of referral visits a month.” With Facebook users already reacting well to its content, BuzzFeed saw a big opportunity in creating a native version within the social network that made sharing with friends even more seamless.

The BuzzFeed Facebook app streamlines its website to create a more laidback experience. Rather than bombarding users with choices of which post to view or channel to browse, users are immediately presented with a single post. They can choose to leave feedback or share it, or simply move on to the next post. This addictive, StumbleUpon-style flow keeps users constantly discovering new content they might want to share instead of navigating around the site.

BuzzFeed drops barriers to usage by not showing the permissions request for a user’s data until it absolutely needs it. To drive app growth, when users who granted permissions click an “OMG” or “Win” button on a post, they’re shown one friend and prompted to send them the post including a link to the app.

Though users must return to the website to add their own posts, search posts, or see channels such as “Hot on Facebook”, the lightweight app works well for killing time while waiting for a friend to respond to a Chat message or more stories to be added to the news feed. If the BuzzFeed and Wall Street Journal apps succeed, expect more publishers to build native versions of their sites on Facebook.

Social Media 201

Mediabistro Course

Social Media 201

Starting October 13, Social Media 201 will provide you with hands-on instruction for gaining followers and engagement. Social media experts will teach you how to make social media marketing work for your bottom line and achieving your business goals. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Associate Vice President of Social Media

Beauty Public Relations Agency
New York, NY

Social Media Specialist

Lakewood Church
Houston, TX

Social Media Strategist

WHYY
Philadelphia, PA

Social Media Coordinator

PMC Studios
Los Angeles, CA

Social Media Manager

The Christian Broadcasting Network
Virginia Beach, VA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us