Buzzfeed has expanded once again, this time adding Ben Smith, veteran of Politco, as its new Editor-in-Chief. Smith will continue to contribute for Politico on a weekly basis, but his main duties will be guiding original content and helping Buzzfeed become a social media news entity once the new year begins.
At Buzzfeed, Smith will be hiring reporters who will create original content and break news specifically formatted for the social web. This movement began last week, when Buzzfeed hired two from Gawker Media. We expect that future hires will all be web-specific journalists as well.
Smith said that Buzzfeed is a natural spot for him. “Social media is what moves a story,” explained Smith. “It has become the primary way people, from plugged-in insiders to casual readers, get their news. BuzzFeed is the best in the world at distributing content on social sites, and it is a tremendous opportunity to join BuzzFeed — and its millions of readers — to build a new model for high-quality reporting.”
Jonah Peretti, Co-Founder of Buzzfeed, believes that with Smith onboard, 2012 will be a huge year for the site. “Ben and I will build the definitive social publishing site with content that spreads fluidly across Facebook, Twitter, Reddit, StumbleUpon and all other social platforms,” said Peretti. “In the past year, BuzzFeed has grown from eight million monthly unique visitors to over 20 million, and we are excited to continue this growth with Ben leading our editorial team.”