Before the NewTrack assignment, I had already been keeping up with BuzzFeed on a daily basis. Not so much the news side of it, but the entertainment side. Scrolling through FaceBook allowed me to waste time clicking on all the articles with irresistibly interesting titles and featured images, instead of doing actual work.
In the past NewsTrack assignments, I describe BuzzFeed’s mission statement, which is simple, ” [we] strive to connect deeply with our audience, and give them news and entertainment worth sharing with their friends, family, and the people who matter in their lives.” This is what BuzzFeed does, and this is what they do well.
- BuzzFeed Videos
Everyone knows BuzzFeed’s most popular feature is their short videos. It’s hard not to know about it, even if you don’t follow them on FaceBook, chances are other people you know do and repost or tag you in these videos.
With the attention-grabbing captions and interesting subjects, these videos are usually no longer than 2 or 3 minutes, and thus are very watchable if you are interested or just want to waste time.
What is intriguing also, is just how well these videos have been doing. BuzzFeed has a few series of videos, like The Try Guys, BuzzFeed Violet, BuzzFeed Unsolved, etc. and some of them are now streaming on Amazon and Hulu.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the whole reason I decided to follow BuzzFeed on FaceBook years ago: the clickbait.
I mean, who can resist the urge to click on an article that gives you 19 reason why if you are ______ then you know about _______?
For as well as BuzzFeed entertains, there are some things they fall short of.
3. Still image stories
If BuzzFeed ever uses images, they either create their own, or they repost with credit from another news source.
4. Repost reporting
BuzzFeed, since it’s BuzzFeed, doesn’t tend to report directly from the new event, which I understand. This article was essentially repost reported from Politico, with an added BuzzFeed twist.
Where to go from here?
5. I think BuzzFeed is doing BuzzFeed just fine. BuzzFeed Entertainment, at the very least does it’s job and doesn’t pretend to be something it is not. The listicles, the gifs, the hyping up of memes and celebrity news is all apart of the BuzzFeed charm, and shouldn’t change.