Entertainment media has historically been seen as “soft” news, covering sensational topics from celebrity gossip to the latest fashion trends or dance moves. While there are hundreds of entertainment news sites on the Internet, one that typically comes to the minds of young people today is Buzzfeed. Buzzfeed, an entertainment news site, has primarily hallmarked itself through the dissemination of content on the latest topics, newest movies or recent fads. Without fail, these juicy topics are sure to attract readership. Thus, we are only left to wonder: what makes Buzzfeed so successful?
3 Reasons Buzzfeed is Successful:
- Target audience– The target audience is the people the product is marketed to. In this case, with entertainment media as the product, many sites, including Buzzfeed, target a younger audience. Through demassification of the audience, the content can be specific to youths’ interests. Articles such as “23 Lessons all Former Babysitters Learned the Hard Way” and many others prove that Buzzfeed’s content is relatable through shared experiences, whether it’s babysitting or other events. Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic reiterates this point in an article, “through all its quizzes and analytics, plus its nostalgic, generational, and relevant posts, BuzzFeed is clearly trying to reach us personally and appears to have a good understanding of who we are, which is flattering.”
- Organization– The appeal of a successful entertainment news site is making it user friendly, meaning navigation is logical. Topics and subtopics should be easy to find. Buzzfeed sets up their site where content can be accessed through a variety of ways. It is conventionally divided by type to content such “News,” “Videos,” and “Quizzes,” but it also divides content by thematic acronyms such as “wtf,” “omg,” and “LOL.” What a clever way to attract users simply by using the verbiage of their targeted younger audience!
- Interactivity– Buzzfeed aims to make content active. Quizzes are at the heart of Buzzfeeds viral content. As Dholakia and Fortin point out in their academic paper, this dynamic and participatory approach to gathering information engrosses users attention, makes sharing information playful, and connects us with a larger community. These Buzzfeed quizzes and articles often become the content shared wall to wall between friends on Facebook. For example, it seems everyone saw the article on The Dress controversy that elicited a national conversation about perception of color and prompted other articles by CNN and other written about how and why this debate went viral.
Buzzfeed has become a way for youth to further connect with interpersonal relationships via the Internet. As more and more friends begin to share, eventually the information goes viral. As its popularity continues to grow, the whole world will flock to Buzzfeed to find the newest subject to talk about!
Dholakia, Ruby, Nikhilesh Dholakia, and David Fortin. “Interactivity and Revisits to Websites: A Theoretical Framework.” 2000. TS.
Vivian, John. “Media and Entertainment.” The Media of Mass Communication. 11th ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson, 2013. 18 Mar. 2015. Print.