Traffic Rises 350% Year-Over-Year For Social Publisher BuzzFeed

Calling itself “the social news and entertainment company,” BuzzFeed demonstrated last month that whatever the publisher’s formula may be, it’s working. In November, BuzzFeed reached over 130 million unique visitors across the globe, and BuzzFeed video (on YouTube) reached more than 110 million video views — both record highs.

BuzzFeed Traffic Hits 130 Million in November
Creating shareable content: different feed options on BuzzFeed’s homepage

What’s behind this record growth? A recent shift in Facebook’s algorithm has helped drive traffic to major publishers, and BuzzFeed is seeing some serious benefits from the change. Referrals from Twitter, Facebook and Google hit record highs; Facebook is easily in the lead, but referral traffic from Twitter grew 180% in the last year.

International expansion has also been key: BuzzFeed UK’s traffic grew 400% in the last eight months, with growth also coming from the recent launches of BuzzFeed Brasil, BuzzFeed France and BuzzFeed en Español.

Here are more stats from BuzzFeed’s traffic in November:

  • the site’s 130 million unique visitors showed a 350% increase year-over-year
  • 30 posts received more than 1 million views each
  • record high traffic/active users on: iOS apps, Android apps, BuzzFeed homepage
  • more visits to BuzzFeed in November than in the site’s first four years of existence

BuzzFeed Video, “one of the biggest original content creators on YouTube,” saw 160% growth in the last six months, now totaling over three million subscribers.  Thirteen of the videos received more than one million views each.

Marketing itself as “the hottest, most social content on the web,” BuzzFeed offers “breaking buzz and the kinds of things you’d want to pass along to your friends.” Or, as Wikipedia puts it, “a snapshot of  the viral web in realtime.”

Clearly, this focus on “shareable” breaking news is driving traffic. Are you a fan of BuzzFeed’s made-to-go-viral content, or do you think it’s dumbing down the internet? According to Sunil Rajaraman on Huffington Post, BuzzFeed is “re-creating world-class journalism, but just targeting a younger audience” — and using social media to do so.

What’s your take?