Trend-tracking site BuzzFeed gets $3.5 million in funding

BuzzFeed doesn't want to be another Digg clone. Start-up wants to use algorithm, editors, and click tracking to spot emerging trends.

BuzzFeed, a start-up trend-tracking site, has received $3.5 million in its first round of funding, the company said Tuesday.

New York-based BuzzFeed tracks and delivers the content that is grabbing the most eyeballs on the Internet. Hearst Interactive Media and Softbank were among the group of investors.

Sure, the company sounds like another Digg clone. What's different about BuzzFeed is that it doesn't rely on votes to determine the popularity of a video, blog, or photo.

The company blends click tracking with its own algorithm and human editors to figure out which piece of content is about to go viral.

Jonah Peretti, one of the founders of The Huffington Post, was among those behind BuzzFeed and he says that the company is in the information business.

For example, advertisers can use BuzzFeed's data to see how their ads are faring among Internet users or to spot emerging trends. That kind of data could conceivably help clothing companies stay on top of the latest fashions.

BuzzFeed was founded in October 2006 and now has a million unique monthly visitors.

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