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Why Tumblr and BuzzFeed are on a collision course

Why Tumblr and BuzzFeed are on a collision course in 2013


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BuzzFeed has built the site from just a repository for animated cat GIFs into a substantial media entity, and just raised a new round of financing — and Tumblr also has a fairly deep war-chest and dreams of expansion. And both are aiming at the same targets.

Both companies are big believers in native advertising:

The site is also one of the biggest proponents of so-called “native” advertising, which involves helping advertisers and brands come up with content that fits the Buzzfeed profile of easily let me gshareable and potentially “viral” media. Peretti has said that the company has no interest in traditional banner or display advertising, because it believes that advertising has to become more like content in order to survive online — something that other publishers such as Lewis D’Vorkin of Forbes have also staked their future on.

And that’s where a collision with Tumblr is most likely to occur: just like BuzzFeed, the blogging network has grown at a phenomenal rate over the past year or so — briefly entering the top 10 list of U.S. websites with over 200 million visitors per month and 18 billion pageviews — and it also has a fairly deep war-chest of cash that it has built up through a series of financing rounds. But just like BuzzFeed, the blog platform also has to find a way of generating enough revenue to justify its valuation, and native advertising is the most likely method of doing so, especially when Tumblr seems ideally suited to visual advertising.

Gigaom's take:

MG Siegler's take:

as in, Advertorial?

BuzzFeed doesn't usually have opinions. Usually it has sponsored photo galleries that tell a story.

Tumblr's David Karp in Forbes:

“The opportunity that I see in Tumblr because we are such a media network, we are so much about content and attention and creativity, creative content. The opportunity I see is to allow marketers, advertisers to once again make awesome content and put it in the mix with other awesome content. That’s what those products are that we’ve rolled out and are starting to really scale up now.”

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