The “Buzzfeed-ification” of Media

by Julie Hall

“Content is king” is the phrase of the day, and more and more of that content is migrating to short-form pieces that brands can easily churn out and share with their followers.  We see them every day on Buzzfeed, Gawker, Elite Daily and all over social media … just this week I saw posts on “16 Supposedly Healthy Foods with More Sugar than a Snickers Bar,” “The 16 Most Surprising Things about This Year’s Oscar Nominations” and many others.

As a millennial, I’m part of the target demographic for many of these articles, and admittedly I read a lot of them in my personal time.  But I take issue with this type of writing when it starts creeping into traditional journalism, as we’re seeing more and more.  Top 10-style lists have their place in entertainment and blogs, but these quick, easy-to-digest “stories” shouldn’t take the place of in-depth reporting and journalistic storytelling.

Although with Buzzfeed’s sponsored content performing well as a form of native advertising for many brands and these articles seemingly always going viral, perhaps this is a turning tide that we can’t ignore as professional communicators.  After all, it’s our job to communicate in a way that reaches our target audience, and increasingly, it seems this form of content is an effective way to do just that.

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