Buzzfeed turns to AI to drive content strategy

by | Jan 31, 2023 | News

Digital publisher BuzzFeed is reportedly planning to use AI to personalise and enhance its content, according to reports in the Wall Street Journal.

The WSJ says that Buzzfeed CEO Jonah Peretti sent a memo to staff in which he laid out his vision for the coming year: “In 2023, you’ll see AI inspired content move from an R&D stage to part of our core business, enhancing the quiz experience, informing our brainstorming, and personalising our content for our audience.”

According to Peretti, AI will allow Buzzfeed to create articles that are tailored for readers. He said readers might “pick a trope for your rom-com” or “tell us an endearing flaw you have” – then an article would be generated based on the reader’s input.

Buzzfeed plans to use technology from OpenAI, the company behind ChatGPT. Earlier this month there were reports that Microsoft was looking to invest around $10 billion in the company – though these have not been confirmed by either side. The story was the second positive boost for Buzzfeed in the last week. Previously, there reports that social media giant Meta is paying BuzzFeed millions of dollars to bring more creators to its Facebook and Instagram platforms.

Buzzfeed’s share price has more than doubled since these two stories first broke – but overall its stock is still down 65% since it went public in late 2021. The company has yet to turn a profit since it launched on the stock market. Last month, it announced plans to cut about 12% of its workforce to rein in costs – approximately 180 people.

At the time, Peretti said revenues were being impacted by “a combination of worsening conditions, and the ongoing audience shift to vertical video, which is still developing from a monetisation standpoint. That requires us to lower out costs.”

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