Updated Oct 18, 2013 at 02:32PM EDT by Brad.  

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BuzzFeed[1] is a viral content site founded in 2006 by Jonah Peretti. As of July 2013, the site has nearly 20 verticals dedicated to content from a range of topics including politics, business, sports, music, food, animals and celebrities. They also offer original video content.


BuzzFeed launched on November 1st, 2006 with seven articles containing 10-20 links to other articles on a specific topic, including homosexual Republicans[23], Borat[24] and eating endangered animal species.[25] BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti (shown below) had previously been involved with viral web content while studying at the MIT Media Lab. In January 2001, he attempted to order custom Nike sneakers with the word “sweatshop” embroidered on them. After his request was denied, his shared the email correspondence online, which quickly went viral. In May 2005, he co-founded The Huffington Post with Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Andrew Breitbart.



Much of BuzzFeed’s content is list-based articles known as “listicles” consisting of a specific number of curated photos or GIFs centered on a certain topic, for example 15 Curious Things Found in Library Books[26], 21 Reasons You’re A True Hillbilly[27] and 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With.[28] As early as July 2012, this format has been parodied by other blogs and magazines including McSweeney’s[22], Eater[23] and Vanity Fair.[29] Other news sites have criticized BuzzFeed for using this format to explain serious news[17], including explaining the political climate in Egypt with GIFs from Jurassic Park (shown below).



On April 5th, 2013, BuzzFeed’s tech vertical FWD posted an oral history of Weird Twitter, containing a number of interviews with Twitter users about their participation in the loosely aligned group of comedic accounts. Two days later, Nate Lamagna, who goes by the handle @vrunt[9], launched the parody blog FeedBuzz.[10] That day, he made the first two posts parodying BuzzFeed’s stereotypical listicle content: 7 Unexpected Breakfast Fails[11] and Top Five Bad Search Engines Throughout History.[12]

Lamagna invited his Twitter followers to contribute, resulting in more than 400 satirical articles within two months, including pieces by Something Awful writer Jon Hendren, Toothpaste for DInner cartoonist Drew and #ExilePitbull co-creator David Thorpe. In April 2013, FeedBuzz was featured in a satirical review on Fishbowl NY.[13] In early June, FeedBuzz was featured on the Daily Dot.[14]

BuzzFeed Minus GIFs

On October 17th, 2013, a single topic blog titled “BuzzFeed Minus GIFs”[31] was launched on Tumblr as a parody of BuzzFeed’s signature GIF-driven article format, highlighting the text without any images that usually comprise the centerpiece of the articles.

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Related Memes

Aretha’s Hat

Aretha’s Hat is a photoshop meme featuring the bow-style hat worn by singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin during Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration on January 20th, 2009. That day, a photo of the singer wearing the hat was posted to BuzzFeed and commenters began to photoshop the hat onto other photos of humans and animals. Within hours, BuzzFeed made a second post highlighting some of the submitted photoshopped images.


Horsemaning is a photo fad started by BuzzFeed in August 2011. After posting a sepia-toned photo[5] (shown below, left) claiming the forced perspective photography had come from the 1920s, the article called it “the new ”/memes/planking">planking and invited readers to take their own photos. However, the astroturfing led writers from Gawker[6] and Rocketboom[7] to criticize BuzzFeed for attempting to force a meme.

Tobias Fünke’s Blanket

Tobias Fünke’s Blanket is a photoshop meme that spread on 4chan and Tumblr after a behind-the-scenes photo of actor David Cross wearing a blanket on set was leaked on BuzzFeed on August 9th, 2012, who highlighted a series of photoshopped images based on this strange outfit the following day.


As of July 2013, BuzzFeed reaches more than 60 million unique visitors per month.[2] The site has an Alexa[3] score of 85 in the United States and 315 globally. BuzzFeed also has a Quantcast[4] rank of 36 in the U.S.

Search Interest

External References

[1]BuzzFeed – Home

[2]BuzzFeed – About

[3]Alexa –

[4]Quantcast –

[5]BuzzFeed – Horsemaning: The New Planking

[6]Gawker – Death to the Internet Craze

[7]Dembot – Horsemaning A Forced Meme? A day in the life of Meme Research

[8]BuzzFeed – Weird Twitter: The Oral History

[9]Twitter – @vrunt

[10]FeedBuzz – Home

[11]FeedBuzz – 7 Unexpected Breakfast Fails

[12]FeedBuzz – Top Five Bad Search Engines Throughout History

[13]Fishbowl NY – Forget BuzzFeed -- FeedBuzz Is Where It’s At

[14]The Daily Dot – Behind FeedBuzz, Weird Twitter’s blistering BuzzFeed parody

[15]Smart Planet – How will business news fit among BuzzFeed’s LOL listicles?

[16]International Business Times – I Can Haz Journalism: The Listicle (And The GIF) As Storytelling Devices

[17]Digiday – 9 Incredible Examples of The BuzzFeed Backlash

[18]Bloomberg – Buzzfeed Raises $19M for Listicle Empire

[19]The Daily Dot – McSweeney’s challenges BuzzFeed to listicle-off, loses

[20]The Daily Dot – What it takes to get banned from BuzzFeed

[21]Eater – Here Is a Listicle of 43 Suggested BuzzFeed Food Listicles

[22]McSweeney’s – Suggested BuzzFeed Articles

[23]BuzzFeed – Gay Republicans

[24]BuzzFeed – The “Borat” Movie

[25]BuzzFeed – Eating Endangered Species

[26]BuzzFeed – 15 Curious Things Found in Library Book

[27]BuzzFeed – 21 Reasons You’re A True Hillbilly

[28]BuzzFeed – 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With

[29]Vanity Fair – 40 Signs You Are a BuzzFeed Writer Running Out of List Ideas

[30]BuzzFeed – The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In “Jurassic Park” Gifs

[31]Tumblr – BuzzFeedMinusTheGIFs

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