BuzzFeed’s Newly Launched Site Will Focus Only on News

Gone are the days of taking a quiz then reading hard-hitting news, all in the same place

BuzzFeed News

You won’t be able to take a quiz that determines which Real Housewife you are on the same website that publishes in-depth reporting anymore.

BuzzFeed quietly rolled out a new website, buzzfeednews.com, on Wednesday morning solely for news. The company shared the new website in a tweet with a GIF of the landing page.

The new website seems more formal than buzzfeed.com. The layout looks more like a traditional news website and has the tagline “Reporting to you” and a black and white arrow logo instead of the quintessential BuzzFeed red and white arrow.

In addition, the stories aren’t organized by traditional, news topics at the top of the page. Instead, the website has a trending topics bar to showcase “the larger storylines our newsroom is covering right now—in the moment,” said BuzzFeed spokesman Matt Mittenthal.

The topics are curated by editors, using data on what people are talking about, he said. Further down the page, users are able to read more stories that are sorted by topics, ranging from books to health to politics.

“As BuzzFeed News expands further into new areas like original series, we want to continue to elevate its look, feel and user experience,” BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told staff in an email.

While buzzfeed.com still offers a range of quizzes, the company has ramped up publishing original reporting, from an in-depth report on R. Kelly abusing young women to an investigative series on Russia for which they were named as a finalist for a Pulitzer.

“It looks like BuzzFeed is getting a little more adult; they’re getting into ‘real journalism,’ not just Kardashian stuff,” said Rebecca Lieb, co-founder and analyst at Kaleido Insights. “It’s also obviously a lot more real estate for advertising.”

There will be no sponsored news content on the website, Mittenthal said, but BuzzFeed will take “full advantage” of programmatic advertising, including exploring brands doing “full-page takeovers.”

The site already has a banner ad and advertisements throughout the entire page.

“I’m sure they’re trying to be more formal in terms of credibility, so that tonality makes sense. But it also feels pretty homogenous. After you scroll beyond the header it looks like so many other things,” said Linda Holliday, CEO and founder of Citia, who noted that it had only just rolled out and might still be under development. “I hope that, over time, it works for them, we need more and better news everywhere. But I feel like they have to commit maybe a little bit more.”

“What does BuzzFeed News want to be?” she later added, “Because I’m not sure by looking at this.”

All news stories that are shared on social or on BuzzFeed.com will link back to the news website. Other BuzzFeed brands, such as its food vertical, Tasty, and its beauty and style vertical, As/Is, have been launched on stand-alone sites.

Given the success of those brands, Mittenthal said, the company figured, “it was long past time to give BuzzFeed News its own distinctive look and feel — and to more clearly distinguish news from classic BuzzFeed, something we recognized in feedback from our readers.”