There's a pretty good chance you've stumbled across a BuzzFeed article in the past week, if not the past 24 hours, while checking your Facebook newsfeed or some other social platform. In fact, you may have even been the one posting a BuzzFeed story to your social accounts.
The media company has taken off during the last five years, going from about 600 unique views a month to 85 million last month. One primary reason for BuzzFeed's success in making content go viral: its use of social data.
"We have lots of machine learning, years and years, millions and billions of page views and engagements. ... With that data we have to figure out what is most actionable, what is most important," said Eric Harris, executive vice president of business of operations at BuzzFeed, at the Social Data Week conference in New York on Friday.
"So we do have algorithms, which helps us predict when something is taking off, which helps us to double and triple down to really promote that content, at just the right time," he said.
Harris said that a lot of the math the company uses looks at the traffic coming to BuzzFeed and analyzing the data in real time to predict what will take off.