BuzzFeed has quickly become one of the most influential media companies in the world, and its brand is still known mainly for wacky listicles and quizzes like “Here’s What Your Favourite Facial Hair Says About You.”
But BuzzFeed also does news. The same site that published “99 Things All Yuccies Love” also penned a 4,000-word investigative story on the death of a young girl in foster care that was covered up by state officials.
Now the BuzzFeed News app, released today in the App Store, wants to bring more of the site’s news coverage into view.
You won’t find any listicles when you open BuzzFeed’s new app, which is designed to present the day’s major news events as they happen. Today’s top story in the app is the horrific Charleston church shooting that killed nine victims. Facts about the event are arranged into quick, easily digestible bullet points.
There’s also a story about the search for a HIV vaccine, how tech companies are looking to create a new classification of worker, and an article with the headline “The U.S. Chemical Disaster Board Is Imploding.”
The app is editorially led by Stacy-Marie Ishmael, who was hired away from The Financial Times, and a small team that works alongside the rest of BuzzFeed’s growing news division, which has 25 million readers per month.
“Everyone on the editorial side of #teamnewsapp is also a part of BuzzFeed News, and that’s a really important point,” Ishmael told Business Insider over email. “We work extremely closely with the breaking news desk, and the major section editors, all day long.”
BuzzFeed News divides its app into two windows, the main “Catch Up” feed that features BuzzFeed stories alongside content from over sites like The New York Times and Fusion, and a “My Alerts” tab that lets the reader control how the app sends push notifications for breaking events.
For instance, you can choose to only get notifications for “major breaking news,” world events, the latest on major LGBT issues, or ongoing stories like the FIFA officials corruption scandal.
Stories can be shared directly to social networks like Twitter and Facebook. Relevant tweets and Instagram posts occasionally supplement news stories, like this picture of the alleged Charleston church shooter:
Packing news within apps is a trend that plenty of publishers are jumping on. The New York Times recently put out its redesigned NYT Now app that works similarly to BuzzFeed’s. Business Insider also has a mobile app that delivers breaking news notifications.
“Mobile web traffic is enormous for publishers, and that includes BuzzFeed News,” Ishmael said to BI. “But we’re building an app because we know there’s a universe of native functionality in iOS (and soon, Android) that’s just not available in the browser.”
BuzzFeed News is free to download in Apple’s App Store. It will be available on Android this fall.