BuzzFeed’s new MoodFeed recommends content based on how you’re feeling – gpgmail


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.”


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BuzzFeed CTO joins men’s health startup Ro – gpgmail


Ro, a two-year-old startup known for its online pharmacy of men’s health products, has named BuzzFeed’s Todd Levy its chief technology officer.

Levy first joined BuzzFeed in 2014 as the digital media company’s vice president of engineering; he was named CTO in 2016. Prior to BuzzFeed, Levy co-founded and led link management tool bit.ly. Levy begins his new role Wednesday, August 14.

We’ve reached out to BuzzFeed for comment.

Ro, valued at $500 million earlier this year, has raised $176 million in venture capital funding from Canaan Partners, FirstMark Capital, BoxGroup, Initialized Capital, General Catalyst, SignalFire and others. The fast-growing startup poised to enter the unicorn club in the next year represents an opportunity for Levy to get back in the business of early-stage startups.

The news comes months after BuzzFeed announced its largest layoffs to date. Despite having raised $500 million over the last decade, the site has struggled to find a path to profitability. BuzzFeed chairman Ken Lerer, a prolific media investor, stepped down this June.

Former BuzzFeed CTO Todd Levy.

In an email announcement to staffers, Ro co-founder Saman Rahmanian said the new hire will help usher the business into a new phase of growth: “First and foremost, we needed a great team builder – someone who cares about team spirit not just the code,” Rahmanian wrote:

Given the high growth state of our business, we also needed a leader who has seen or led the scaling of an engineering team like ours into the next stage (from 30 engineers to 200). We also needed someone with a strong technology background who has gone through the ranks and is fluent in modern software architecture. And equally as important, we needed someone that was the right fit for Ro – someone who will provide strong mentorship, who is excited about a distributed team, and who will evangelize the engineering team inside the business as well as outside of Ro to attract top talent.

New York-based Ro was founded in 2017 and has quickly become a leader in the direct-to-consumer health and wellness movement. The company competes with Hims, another online service for health products, as well as Numan, Manual and Thirty Madison, which have raised capital recently.

Ro was started by a trio of entrepreneurs: Rob Schutz, the former vice president of growth at Bark&Co; Rahmanian, a co-founder of the WeWork-acquired business Managed by Q; and chief executive officer Zachariah Reitano, who previously co-founded a Y Combinator -backed startup called Shout.

The startup initially launched under the name Roman, which became its flagship brand when the business adopted the umbrella name Ro last year.

In a 2017 interview with gpgmail’s Josh Constine, Reitano said he began experiencing ED at 17 years old: “I think in a good way I’ve become numb to the embarrassment,” he said. “I remember the embarrassment of having the condition with no solution, and that’s much worse than sharing the fact that I had it and was able to fix it myself.”

Roman offers men a $15 online doctor’s consultation and access to an instant prescription for Viagra, Cialis or generic drugs that can be filled at Roman’s in-house cloud pharmacy. The company also sells hair loss, cold sore medication and more under the Roman brand.

Ro also operates Zero and Rory, purveyors of a quit smoking kit and a line of women’s health products, respectively.


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