5 Highlights from the BuzzFeed CEO letter to staff

Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, Jonah Peretti, has just publicly released a memo to his staff on LinkedIn about the state of the popular news site and what’s in store for the next 12 months.

There is SO MUCH about this BuzzFeed CEO letter that is interesting and worth some analysis.

Here is a top line summary of the best stuff.

1. Making an internal memo public

The very first line of the post sets it up perfectly: “Earlier today I emailed all BuzzFeed employees outlining our plan for the coming year. I wanted to all share the memo here on LinkedIn so future BuzzFeed employees could read it too. ;)”

BuzzFeed is best-in-class at creating content that generates word of mouth and this introduction (and the entire public release) ticks every box possible in that respect.

Simple. Clever. Brilliant.

2. Incredible growth numbers

BuzzFeed clocked up 85 million unique visitors in August 2013, three times bigger than the same time last year. As Jonah says by next year, BuzzFeed will be one of the biggest and most visited sites on the web. Not bad for a site that has only been in existence for less than five years.

To put that in context the Daily Mail online gets around 100 million unique visitors per month.

3. Dedication to content

This direct excerpt from the memo requires no additional commentary:

“Despite the struggles of the traditional media, there remains an insatiable desire for great reporting, entertaining content, and powerful storytelling. Facebook, Twitter, and the other Silicon Valley-based social sites are amazing distribution platforms, but user generated content alone isn’t enough to fill the hole left by the ongoing decline of print newspapers and magazines. The world needs sustainable, profitable, vibrant content companies staffed by dedicated professionals; especially content for people that grew up on the web, whose entertainment and news interests are largely neglected by television and newspapers”.

4. Social video is a priority of the coming year

BuzzFeed is about to open a social video studio at its LA HQ which is yet another example of the role online video is expected to play in the next five years. BuzzFeed has become famous for its list-style content, expect it to become just as famous about online video reporting too.

5. Staying focused on the business model

Although it appears the world is BuzzFeed’s oyster, Jonah says the company is very committed to staying true to it’s core purpose and vision and won’t get distracted by the more traditional avenues that may seem like obvious growth routes to take.

As he says, ‘we will not launch a BuzzFeed TV show, radio station, cable network or movie franchise – we’ll leave that to the legacy media and Hollywood studios’.

He also says that a print edition is not on the agenda and paywall is not a path BuzzFeed will go down.

BuzzFeed is a terrific example of a business that went against the grain, created it’s own path, and continues to march down it with great purpose.

It continues to be the defining news platform of the social and mobile generation.

About Kamber

Kamber is a specialist content marketing and social media agency based in Australia.

We help clients behave in ways that make them valued online participants which is the best way to tie content marketing and social media into your operational and commercial objectives.

You can follow Kamber on Twitter via @KamberCo or join our Facebook community to access more analysis and insights from our team.


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