5 terms Buzzfeed uses internally that reveal how it works

Buzzfeed ceo founder Jonah PerettiFlickr/TechCrunchBuzzfeed CEO and founder Jonah Peretti

On Tuesday, Fast Company published a massive profile on BuzzFeed that sheds a lot of light onto how the company functions.

Sprinkled throughout the feature are terms that only exist in the BuzzFeed world.

These are words and phrases coined to describe everything from the attributes BuzzFeed seeks in its employees to how it judges the success of its articles and videos.

Here’s a mini cheat-sheet, a BuzzFeed dictionary of sorts, to give you a glimpse into Buzzfeed’s world.

  • Multihyphenates (noun) – A person capable of working on multiple parts, and filling different roles, on the same project. All of the members of BuzzFeed’s video staff are multihyphenates and work in groups of seven people and rotated every three months. Buzzfeed claims this strategy keeps creativity flowing and a project’s vision unified from conception to publication.
  • Viral lift (noun) – A metric used to determine a piece of content’s success by measuring how much it was viewed and how quickly it was shared. Sharing is incredibly important to BuzzFeed, it takes such precedence over a standard click that a post viewed 100,000 times with a viral lift of 1.5 or above is considered a success, but post viewed 400,000 times with a viral lift of 1.1 is considered a failure.
  • Mega-vi (noun) – An abbreviation of the term mega viral. The goal of any BuzzFeed post is to go “mega-vi.” While the virality of a post cannot be guaranteed, the rate of success can be increased thanks to “Pound” and “Hive”, which are defined below.
  • Pound (noun) – A metric used to “connect the dots” between how a post is shared by people through different social networks. Buzzfeed tracks metrics for all social media channels independently, but they also view how a single post is shared between people, through different ones. If you share a BuzzFeed post on Twitter, for example, and your friend see’s your share, copies the link from Twitter, and posts it on their Facebook page and one of their friends shares it through Twitter, “Pound” can parse that entire “transaction.”
  • Hive (noun) – An initiative to determine how to best translate a single post into multiple transmedia properties to reach the most people and achieve the most shares. BuzzFeed wants its content to reach as many people as possible, and that means serving different groups on different platforms. A 500 word article could become a minute-long video, a slideshow, or Pinterest post; this process increases a piece of content’s chance to go “mega-vi.”

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