I love Buzzfeed, I really do. They have cute animals, some stuff about daily life, celebrities, even political journalism, and Ryan Gosling, of course.
But the most important thing is that they collect data on how people view and share their posts. People behind Buzzfeed with this data can predict, to some extent, what things will go viral or not. Their another main advantage is emphasis not as much on the content, but how people will share it later.
I think this is exactly where marketing misses out these days.
In the recent presentation at Techcruch Disrupt NY 2013, Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, explained why people like to see pics of cats and dogs and every other animals, like all the time. The reason is “It’s about being human,” said Peretti.
Peretti explained that emotion is part of being a human, and if you don’t feel emotion, you’re probably not a very normal human.
But why is this even important? Well, for one, social media isn’t just about gaming the system. It’s about emotions.
We use social media to project our version of social reality and maintain a virtual identity. Peretti referred specifically to a picture of a left-handed artist’s hand that was shared millions of times on BuzzFeed. Pic just showed the pencil lead smeared across his hand in true left-handed fashion.
“This photo was shared so many times because it involves identity. Left-handed people feel something for this picture.” Just like we project these pieces of our identity (and thus, our emotions) into the Internet on a daily basis, we also consume social media content based on emotion as well.
And here is the actual presentation.