Last week, MediaPost.com reported BuzzFeed froze brand publisher accounts for its community publishing platform, ending unpaid content opportunities for brands that had been using the site for content marketing efforts.
While BuzzFeed didn’t respond to a request for comments on the changes to its editorial policies for brands, Jim Hanas, the director of audience development for HarperCollins, confirmed his company did get a notice.
“We were enthusiastic early adopters of the platform in June 2013, and, yes, we received notice from Buzzfeed that their policy was changing, essentially barring brands from publishing in the community,” said Hanas.
According to Hanas, HarperCollins created 72 community posts since its start less than two years ago and had much success on the platform.
“We had one post early on that had more than one million views, and we were regularly seeing posts get more than 100K,” said Hanas.
HarperCollins’ best post of all time on BuzzFeed’s Community platform – “17 Problems Only Book Lovers Will Understand” – has generated 1.6 million views to date and was recognized by Huffington Post as one of its “7 Native Content Campaigns that Rocked 2013.”
“It also topped the Adweek 2013 Sponsored Content Power Rankings, although it was not sponsored,” said Hanas, “It was completely organic, as the Huffington Post article notes.”
A BuzzFeed rep told Mediapost.com that the BuzzFeed Community platform, “…has been evolving over many years,” and will no longer allow posts that try to sell something, or include a political or commercial agenda.
This move undoubtedly will push brands toward the BuzzFeed’s sponsored ad opportunities – forcing them to pay to play if they want to win the same engagement levels experienced on the community platform.
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