The Strategist

BuzzFeed's Creator: Media Can't Survive Without Adjusting to Mobile Versions

03/15/2016 - 15:50

The creator of the portal BuzzFeed Jonah Peretti is not an authority for the "serious" media. However, his view of the monetization of information resources is really interesting. It is necessary to listen to the man who has promoted a website, estimated at $ 1.5 billion, from a scratch. Let’s see what he thinks.

TechCrunch via flickr
TechCrunch via flickr
Peretti asserts that modern media are difficult to survive without a competent mobile versions. It is not only about mobile apps: many users still prefer to view information in a browser, without having to switch from one program to another. For this reason, the mobile version of the site must meet a number of criteria: to simplify too complicated elements, and to present the content in the most efficient manner.

BuzzFeed is an aggregator and laboratory of virus news and its creator knows about what he is talking. The information in this portal scatters across the network through countless reposts and viral chain reactions. Posts on his website make creative inhabitants of other social networks react, prompting them to create their own content. BuzzFeed’s main tool is ease of use and perception of information. Another Peretti’s project is Huffington Post, which the businessman left back in 2011. The website also distinguish itself with its ergonomics on all types of platforms and accessible form of presentation, even though the ideas there are more serious than on the BuzzFeed.

70% BuzzFeed content is viewed on mobile devices, and the number of unique users per month reaches 200 million if you count all platforms. Peretti hopes to lure those who are used to watching television "out of boredom". He believes that the viral portal is more interesting and convenient.

If we go back to serious information portals, they should pay attention to the words of the American entrepreneur on how to monetize mobile content. According to him, many content providers have tried to copy BuzzFeed’s model, but did so only in terms of the selection and presentation of information, ignoring the necessary advertising visualization tools.

Peretti said that the banners in the mobile version must undergo an optimization process. They are slowly to load, difficult to read and do not fit in the mobile displays. The ads do not work, but only bring harm.

"These publications feel almost as newspaper did" - says Peretti, alluding to the time when the print media for the first time faced a drop in circulation due to Internet development. He offers to "monetize commercial breaks" that people create by their own, instantly and briefly switching from the main business on a mobile phone’s news feed. In fact, a publication should present itself not as something big, hard to understand and requiring immersion, but something easy and intuitive instead. The second important point is the use of a maximum number of third-party aggregators and social media. Media should enter into an agreement with Facebook, Google - all the companies that have their own powerful information tools in the mobile sphere. This helps promote the brand and, most importantly, sometimes allows to show banners, even to those users who use the ad blocking.

Jonah Peretti explicitly says that paid-sponsored news is also a good option to monetize. Is this journalism? BuzzFeed’s critics, including, for example, the British Advertising Standards regulator, believe that the company commits a foul. The project was also accused of the fact that posts about sponsors, which containunflattering information about them, are removed.