How Will Buzzfeed Use $50 Million?


The internet’s preeminent resource for lists of things from the 90s has $50 million to play with, according to a report in the New York Times. Buzzfeed, which launched in 2006 and has become the undisputed leader in shareable viral content, received the massive cash infusion from the venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz. According to the report, Buzzfeed plans to use the money to amp up its content creation across the board, and that plan starts with video and social media.

The company has already announced plans to rename its online video wing Buzzfeed Video to Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. Based in LA, Buzzfeed Video is already a thriving viral video workshop. Under the direction of EVP of video Ze Frank, Buzzfeed Video has perfected the art of creating shareable branded video content. Frank, a pre-YouTube online video star in his own right, is credited with pioneering the familiar vlogging format in the pre-YouTube days. Frank’s “The Show With Ze Frank” was one of the earliest popular examples of short-form personality-driven online video. If you’re a fan of jump cuts, wacky challenges, or people talking directly into their web cams, then you have Ze Frank to thank.

Buzzfeed’s founder Jonah Peretti told the Times that the company’s greatest challenge will be growing into a full-fledged media company while maintaining an entrepreneurial start-up outlook. That will mean diving into every form of content available and looking for what works.  With $50 million to experiment with, Frank and his team at the newly minted Buzzfeed Motion Pictures will attempt to bring their expertise in shareability and virality to new video formats. Everything from six-second Vine clips to television-length shows or even feature films are fair game.

Beyond its ambitious plans for video, Buzzfeed will also jump into the technology arena. Early reports suggest that some of the money will be devoted to building an incubator for new tech and even possible acquisition of tech startups whose expertise might help Buzzfeed to expand. The company, which has already conquered much of the social media landscape, is constantly on the lookout for new vehicles for shareable content.

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