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Photo by Deanne Chun

By Deanne Chun

BuzzFeed is a unique company that is combined with both entertainment and news. With its distinct features and witty posts, BuzzFeed continues to develop as a successful media company. The website is divided into different categories – from news, to entertainment, to videos, to even politics.  

When observing the early history of BuzzFeed, the website’s reputation and image has gradually changed as it created its own unique characteristics. BuzzFeed originally focused on viral content, but the website started to add more news media content that focused on the journalistic aspects. In 2014, BuzzFeed finally deleted over approximately 4,000 posts, which was a dramatic change for the company’s reputation.

Although BuzzFeed is known as a website that heavily focuses on entertainment, there are definitely journalism components that uphold the traditional factors of news publication. More so, BuzzFeed continues to seek for change. This makes it even more interesting about what this company will bring to the public.

BuzzFeed has created its own style of posts in order to form a community that shares different thoughts and opinions. The initial purpose of these posts was to convey entertainment and humor toward the readers, but they have now become a mediated form that highly correlates to the advertising industry. The company has created a medium called “BuzzFeed Partners,” which is a publisher that connects with brand advertising companies. With this addition, BuzzFeed receives sponsorships from various companies outside of their market.

This may initially seem like a minimal issue, but it opens up a possibility of lowering the reputation of BuzzFeed through compromising their characteristics of journalism to an advertisement-oriented website. Advertising companies are specifically adapting to Buzzfeed’s posts in order to make it difficult for readers to identify them as advertisements.

Some BuzzFeed users probably don’t even realize that the website is strongly associated with sponsorships. These types of advertisements provide a variety of options for the audience, but having an ambiguity between news articles and advertisements may become a controversial issue. This can eventually distort the new publishing factors of BuzzFeed.

Despite the amusing features of the BuzzFeed advertisements, the audience will determine rather this was a great choice for BuzzFeed or not. Next time when you look at a rib-tickling post that makes you laugh for almost five minutes, see if the post is produced by a brand publisher– you’ll be amazed by their strategies.

 

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Written by Ad Buzz

The American Advertising Federation Illinois Chapter brings to you Ad Buzz, a blog dedicated to all things advertising related, from our favorite campaigns to trends going on in the industry.

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