Did you know BuzzFeed is considered a news media organization? Or that BuzzFeed ranked seventh in the top digital news entities, beating New York Times and Fox? Both are true according to a new report released by the Pew Research Center on the state of American media.
In terms of media innovation, BuzzFeed is a good example of a site that has built into a successful media outlet in only a few years, generating more than five billion content views a month. But does BuzzFeed affect how people get reliable news?
If you go to BuzzFeed’s website the top stories may shock you. With the titles ranging from, “18 Pictures Only People With Sisters Will Recognize” to “23 Euphoric Experiences For Everyone Who Loves To Eat” the site doesn’t really seem like a reliable news entity.
I’m guilty myself of seeing these stories on my Facebook and clicking to read “An Open Letter to my …”. I’m not going to lie, BuzzFeed is innovative and is great at capturing people’s attention. The benefit is these stories are interesting and only take a minute to read, which is what I believe media is changing into: Short stories that capture the reader’s attention within a short amount of time.
With media transforming to mobile it makes sense why BuzzFeed is capturing a large audience with their entertaining stories. According to DMR Sixty percent of BuzzFeed’s traffic is mobile and its mobile sharing rate is 2X greater than its desktop sharing rate. Within mobile innovation, BuzzFeed is doing great.
It took me a minute but I found that BuzzFeed actually does have a news section on their site with stories from around the world, but with most of their stories using clickbait to get people to their site, are people are going to BuzzFeed specifically for news or are they going there for the quizzes and interesting stories?
I asked around to see what people thought of BuzzFeed and almost everyone I asked said they liked it, but said they wouldn’t trust the site as a reliable news source.
For me, it’s hard to trust a site with quizzes to get serious news from. The problem arising is that the only news that is reaching people is from their social media feeds and that leaves the reader with biased information based on the people they follow.
Clickbait is a good way to get page views to pay for advertisements, but I wouldn’t say that it accommodates good journalism, or really any journalism at all.
I’m not saying people should BAN BUZZFEED, but I am saying that hopefully people will take a break from reading “16 Perfect Dogs Who Literally Could Never Do Anything Wrong” and read a news article. — Jessie Martens