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BuzzFeed newsletter begins expansion into breaking news platform

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BuzzFeed newsletter begins expansion into breaking news platform

“We want to put readers in a position where they know about big stories before anyone else, and are always the ones in-the-know,” says Dan Oshinsky, Director of Newsletters at BuzzFeed, “The newsletters are a standalone project for now, but the News App team is building out a whole series of emails, apps, and notifications. This is just the first big launch in what will be a series of launches for that team.” 

Oshinsky agreed that becoming a breaking news platform is a daunting task, and that it is why they have been waiting to launch this newsletter. For now, “Our goal out of the gate is to deliver the news every morning to readers, to give them the stories they need to read,” says Oshinsky, “[But] we'll grow it from there.”

BuzzFeed has been expanding into serious journalism territory since hiring Politico’s Ben Smith as their Editor-in-Chief in 2012. To quote its CEO Jonah Peretti from a recent interview with The Verge: “Three years ago, BuzzFeed had no reporters. Two years ago we had no video. One year ago we didn't have foreign correspondents around the world or an investigative team. Three years ago we were a cat site, an internet meme site.”

The forthcoming second app by BuzzFeed will reportedly be exclusively for serious news, said Ben Smith in an interview with Ad Age.

The daily news digest - the 17th newsletter to be launched by the team - will follow the same tone. “This Week In Cats [one of Buzzfeed’s 16 other newsletters] is fun and jokey, and touches on important subjects like, "Why do cats love boxes so much?"

“This daily news digest actually covers (with apologies to cat lovers) slightly more pressing world issues … it's a very different task than our previous newsletters.”

The rise of the newsletter from the grave is of course a noted trend, but it is still an interesting decision for the BuzzFeed News App team to begin with such a (comparatively) traditional medium; considering the company found its footing in and have all but conquered social media.

Oshinsky explains though, that: “Newsletters are the original social platform. For many people, the first place you ever shared a story or a video with a friend was on email. And even as other social platforms have come and gone, email's been the one constant. It's still a fantastic way to share things you love with your family, friends, and co-workers.”

“And now, thanks to the huge growth of email on mobile [particularly at Buzzfeed, where a majority of users reach their content on mobile devices, and where the share rate is two times higher than desktop], email follows you around all day,” says Oshinsky.

“And with email, readers invite us into their inboxes to deliver great content and stories every single day. It's an amazing opportunity for us.”


Jake Evans


2015-02-23 15:28

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