Where Would BuzzFeed Be Without the Social Content of Strangers? 

Screenshot of a BuzzFeed web page

At the close of A Streetcar Named Desire, Blanche DuBois gazes up at a genteel man with her big blue eyes and says, breathily and unabashedly:

An image of Vivien Leigh playing Blance in 'A Streetcar Named Desire' with the text, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."

Such is the story of the digital publishing powerhouse, Buzzfeed.

According to comScore, Buzzfeed boasts approximately 69 million multi-platform visitors a month. And in the past year alone, it has published 69,000 articles.

That’s a mind-blowing average of 190 articles a day!

Animated gif of Vizzini in The Princess Bridge film saying, "Inconceivable"

So how does Buzzfeed  manage to churn out so many articles on the daily?

By relying quite heavily on the social content of strangers.

In a recent study, Priceonomics conducted a data crawl of Buzzfeed.com and found that nearly one-fourth of the site’s content was gleaned from these three social platforms: Tumblr, Instagram and YouTube.

Not only that, but nearly two-thirds of Buzzfeed’s content is leeched… I mean sourced… from just 24 sites:


You may have noticed Twitter is absent from this graph. That’s because the Priceonomics study failed to include Twitter embeds in its data crawl:

This analysis isn’t perfect, however, as it ignores content that BuzzFeed embeds without putting an attribution link under it (Twitter embeds for example don’t need an attribution link since they are clearly from Twitter).

This definitely keeps us from getting a full picture of Buzzfeed’s sourcing matrix. It would behoove Team P to solve for this in their next data crawl and then to publish an updated set of results. 

I wouldn’t be surprised if, in doing so, they will find that closer to one-third of Buzzfeed’s content is gleaned from the top 4 social networks.