BuzzFeed is offering readers a new approach to finding content that fits the way they’re feeling right now.
It’s not the boring old approach of following a link on social media or search, or of typing BuzzFeed.com into your browser. Instead, on MoodFeed, readers can identify their mood, then they’ll get a list of articles that match those feelings.
There are currently six options — curious, stressed, bored, nostalgic, joyful or hungry. If you select “curious,” you’ll see a list of BuzzFeed posts about strange facts, life hacks and the like. If, on the other hand, you go with “nostalgic,” you’ll get lots of headlines about pop culture history. And if you’re not sure, you can just give the mood wheel a spin and see what it lands on.
Talia Halperin, BuzzFeed’s vice president of brand management, described this as an experiment in “getting our audience engaged and excited in a non-traditional way.” The team apparently created these recommendations by first identifying the main mood options, then “reverse-engineering” which articles would be a good fit.
And while BuzzFeed’s never offered this kind of interface before, Halperin argued that the broader strategy is one that the organization uses “all the time, in a curated, audience-focused way” — when the team is sharing and promoting articles, it’s thinking about moods and associated identities.
In fact, the BuzzFeed team has actually built AI tools to help with this process, automating the ability to identify which BuzzFeed stories should be posted on which BuzzFeed pages, when “evergreen” stories should be re-promoted and at what time headlines should be shared.
In the case of MoodFeed, Halperin made it sound like this is very much an experiment, with the company still figuring out things like “how often we should refresh it, what our strategy is around that.”
At the same time, she said there’s plenty of room for expansion.
“This could scale in a really interesting way,” she added. “You may have noticed that there are only six moods, but of course, there are several different moods that come along with certain events [so we’re interested] in really being able expand to expand the moods at different times of the year.”