Playbuzz, the viral content site riding a wave of Facebook fueled success, announced today that it has raised $16 million in venture capital funding.
Playbuzz, which launched in December 2014 and says it draws 80 million monthly unique visitors, is the most shared English language-site on Facebook, according to social analytics firm NewsWhip, blowing past the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed in November.
Playbuzz stokes Facebook sharing with quizzes, polls and listicles — “Which Kardashian’s Blonde Hair Do You Like The Most?,” “21 Not-So-Cool Signs It’s Still Freaking Winter,” “What Type Of Dog Are You” — and other “playful” content that resonates with users on the mammoth social network.
Playbuzz, a startup co-founded by Shaul Olmert, son of former Israel prime minister Ehud Olmert, doesn’t produce much of its own content. Instead it provides a free platform for other publishers, including AOL, MTV and Yahoo, to create content that can be embedded on their sites.
“The kind of content that we enable our partners to create is popular content,” Olmert told Marketing Land last year. “It’s the type of content users are looking for and want to engage with.”
Many consider such content click bait, something that Facebook has signaled it wants to crack down on, but the popularity of Playbuzz content seems to be defying any Facebook algorithm adjustments. Olmert said he isn’t worried that Facebook will stifle Playbuzz’s growth.
“As long as we are helping our partners create stuff that resonates very well with users there will always be an outlet for that,” he said. “I don’t think Facebook wants to go against what their users are looking for.”
Playbuzz said it will use its additional funding to expand its New York office and add offices in Asia and Europe. The company also plans to continue building out its content templates and explore the possibility of offering native advertising options.
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