BuzzFeed Shares Soar 300% After Company Announced Plans for AI Content

BuzzFeed Shares Soar 300% After Company Announced Plans for AI Content
Will AI enhance the SEO-focused "news" site?

Shares of BuzzFeed Inc. soared about 300% after the digital media company announced it will start using OpenAI technology to create content. The stock price was also boosted by news of a separate $10 million deal with Facebook parent company, Meta.

BuzzFeed rose three-fold from $0.97 to $3.87 per share between Thursday and Friday last week after the company said it will start using ChatGPT creator OpenAI’s publicly available application programming interface (API) to write polls and personalized quizzes for viewers.

The stock price surged more than 200% on Thursday alone, spurred also by news that the firm will receive $10 million in payments to generate creator content for Meta’s platforms. As of Monday’s close, BuzzFeed stock had fallen 30% to $2.74 per share.

BuzzFeed Shares Soar 300% After Company Announced Plans for AI Content

Over the past 52 weeks, shares of BuzzFeed have reached a high of $5.71 and a low of $0.64, according to Yahoo Finance data. Analysts are targeting a price of $2.17 per share over the next 12 months months.

AI-assisted content at BuzzFeed

In a Jan. 26 staff memo, BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti told employees that “the creative process will increasingly become AI-assisted and technology-enabled.” It means artificial intelligence, or AI, would help create content instead of humans doing the work.

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However, it doesn’t appear as though AI is going to be writing in-depth articles. Peretti said that newsroom journalism will still be done by human beings.

“If the past 15 years of the internet have been defined by algorithmic feeds that curate and recommend content, the next 15 years will be defined by AI and data helping create, personalize, and animate the content itself,” Peretti wrote in his memo.

“AI opens up a new era of creativity, where creative humans like us play a key role providing the ideas, cultural currency, inspired prompts, IP, and formats that come to life using the newest technologies,” he added.

With the Meta deal, the aim is for BuzzFeed to help engage more creators with Facebook and Instagram. The move is widely seen as a direct challenge on TikTok, the Chinese social media company that has become the focus of the majority of content creators.

Failing experiment

BuzzFeed said it will use technology from OpenAI, the company that created the ridiculously popular ChatGPT to generate and enhance content on the website. A company spokesperson told Reuters, “we are not using ChatGPT – we are using OpenAI’s API.”

However, BuzzFeed will not be the first media company to use artificial intelligence to create content. Technology site CNET tried it before with disastrous results.

Since November, the website used AI to publish online articles but was later forced to correct 50% of them after the bot introduced massive errors. As MetaNews reported last week, CNET told employees that it would stop using the technology.

Image credits: Shutterstock, CC images, Midjourney, Unsplash.