BuzzFeed, a New York City-based news aggregator, announced $3.5 million in Series A financing from Softbank and Hearst. Started by Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti, the site launched in 2006 and is now receiving one million unique visitors a month.
What separates the company from other news aggregators such as Digg or Reddit is that top stories aren’t chosen by community voting, but instead by tracking what gets actual clicks. Aided by a proprietary algorithm and human editors, the site focuses on the outrageous and titillating, “the kind of things you’d want to pass along to your friends,” according to their About page. The results make Digg seem positivly dignified — some of the stories found on the site’s Top 20 page: The Big Penis Book, Nadal’s Hot Girlfriend, and Old People Porn.