Upworthy

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Upworthy
TypePrivate
FoundedMarch 2012; 2 years ago (2012-03)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, USA
Founder(s)Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley
CEOEli Pariser
Key peopleSara Critchfield[1]
Slogan(s)"Things That Matter. Pass ‘Em On."
WebsiteUpworthy.com
Alexa rankIncrease568 (Global, October 2014)
Type of siteNews & Entertainment
AdvertisingNative
Available inEnglish
Current statusActive
 
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Upworthy
TypePrivate
FoundedMarch 2012; 2 years ago (2012-03)
HeadquartersNew York City, New York, USA
Founder(s)Eli Pariser and Peter Koechley
CEOEli Pariser
Key peopleSara Critchfield[1]
Slogan(s)"Things That Matter. Pass ‘Em On."
WebsiteUpworthy.com
Alexa rankIncrease568 (Global, October 2014)
Type of siteNews & Entertainment
AdvertisingNative
Available inEnglish
Current statusActive


Upworthy is a website for viral content started in March 2012 by Eli Pariser, the former executive director of MoveOn, and Peter Koechley, the former managing editor of The Onion. One of Facebook's co-founders, Chris Hughes, was an early investor.[2][3][4]

Upworthy's stated mission is to host the intersection of the "awesome", the "meaningful" and the "visual."[3] It uses virality to promote stories with a progressive bent on political and social issues. [5]

History[edit]

In June 2013, an article in Fast Company called Upworthy "the fastest growing media site of all time".[6]

In August 2013 Upworthy became the first 'non - traditional' site to feature in NewsWhip's Top Ten Publisher Rankings, in fifth place.[7] By November 2013 they were the third most social publisher on Facebook, despite their low article count. [8]

Upworthy popularized a certain style of headline, particularly a style of two-phrase headline which is very recognizable, which has spread to many other websites.[9] Examples of such Upworthy style headlines are:

It has been criticized for its use of overly sensationalized, emotionally manipulative, "click-bait" style, headlines as well as having a liberal bias, and being focused on issues that are controversial by nature.[12][13][14][15][16]

Funding[edit]

Upworthy has been through two rounds of funding. In October 2012 it raise $4 Million from New Enterprise Associates and other angel investors including: BuzzFeed co-founder John Johnson, Facebook co-founder and New Republic owner Chris Hughes and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian.[17] [18] In September 2013 it raised $8 Million from investors Catamount Ventures, Spark Capital, Knight Foundation and Klee Irwin. [19]

Content[edit]

Upworthy produces daily stories, which it deems to be meaningful and of high quality. [20] It aims to be “social media with a mission”. [21] It achieves this by promoting progressive and liberal points of view through its choice of articles, without being overtly partisan. [22]

Their articles are rigorously tested for how effective they will be at getting clicked on. One way they do this is giving each article no fewer than 25 separate headlines, they then test which will attract the most hits. [23]

Views[edit]

In November 2013 it hit a high of almost 18 million unique visitors for the month. However in the first half of 2014 it had fallen to roughly 10-12 million unique visitors. [24]

As of October 2014 Upworthy’s Youtube channel has acquired 135,467 subscribers and 4,197.541 views. [25]

Advertising[edit]

Upworthy has been labeled a ‘clickbait shop’, however for 2 years Upworthy did not monetize clicks through display advertising. The company began making money in April 2014 with the announcement of Upworthy Collaborations. [26]

Upworthy Collaborations is a name given to Upworthy’s advertising partnerships with corporations. It includes native ads, and articles that its advertising partners underwrite. [27][28] It is selective with the organisations it collaborates with and states that “We draw a line on greenwashing”. [29] Upworthy states that it wishes to work with corporations who have a common mission and similar values. Peter Koechley said on the topic “We won’t take an ad from Exxon claiming to be good for the environment, but Skype claiming they help people communicate — that seems about right”. [30][31] It has attracted prominent brands such as Unilever, Skype, CoverGirl and charities such as the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.[32][33][34][35]


References[edit]

  1. ^ "The woman behind Upworthy's viral explosion". Retrieved 16 October 2014. 
  2. ^ Carr, David (March 26, 2012), New Site Wants to Make the Serious as Viral as the Shallow, The New York Times, retrieved April 11, 2012 
  3. ^ a b Pilkington, Ed (March 26, 2012), New media gurus launch Upworthy – their 'super-basic' internet start-up, The Guardian, retrieved April 11, 2012 
  4. ^ Gannes, Liz (March 26, 2012), Viral With a Purpose? Upworthy Finds Serious Web Content Worth Sharing., AllThingsD, retrieved April 11, 2012 
  5. ^ Viral Content with a Liberal Bent, NYTimes, retrieved March 12, 2014 
  6. ^ How Upworthy Used Emotional Data To Become The Fastest Growing Media Site of All Time | Fast Company | Business + Innovation
  7. ^ Corcoran, Liam. "Top Social Publishers August 2013: Sharing way up for all publishers, and BuzzFeed on Top". blog.newswhip.com. NewsWhip. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  8. ^ Corcoran, Liam. "Top Social Publishers 2013". blog.newswhip.com. NewsWhip. Retrieved 23 October 2014. 
  9. ^ Why Are Upworthy Headlines Suddenly Everywhere? - Robinson Meyer - The Atlantic
  10. ^ We Don’t Hear Enough From Native American Voices. Here’s An Inspiring Message From One
  11. ^ Someone Gave Some Kids Some Scissors. Here’s What Happened Next
  12. ^ Viral Content with a Liberal Bent, NYTimes, retrieved March 12, 2014 
  13. ^ Read this to find out how Upworthy's awful headlines changed the web | Media | The Guardian
  14. ^ Create Your Own Overly Emotional, Click-Baiting Headline With the Upworthy Generator | Adweek
  15. ^ "Upworthy Used to Have Huge Traffic. What Happened Next Will Blow Your Mind". TechnologyTell. 2014-02-11. Retrieved 2014-06-16. 
  16. ^ The Rise Of Clickbait Spoilers: Bloggers Expose What’s Behind Upworthy’s Histrionic Headlines
  17. ^ http://www.crunchbase.com/funding-round/27626a54a94b2d5bdbbf3a1a46c03e8a
  18. ^ http://allthingsd.com/20121016/with-six-million-uniques-upworthy-gets-4m-from-nea-to-find-more-virals-that-arent-cat-videos/
  19. ^ http://www.crunchbase.com/funding-round/7839fa142a1591eefe3c65f868482ff8
  20. ^ http://www.upworthy.com/about
  21. ^ http://www.upworthy.com/about
  22. ^ http://www.politico.com/story/2014/03/upworthy-website-politics-104513.html
  23. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/media/2014/mar/16/upworthy-website-generation-y-awful-headlines
  24. ^ http://www.forbes.com/sites/jeffbercovici/2014/06/23/a-new-weapon-in-upworthys-unlikely-war-on-clickbait/
  25. ^ https://www.youtube.com/user/upworthy/about
  26. ^ http://contently.com/strategist/2014/07/15/upworthys-sponsored-posts-are-crushing-their-regular-editorial-heres-why/
  27. ^ http://adage.com/article/special-report-digital-conference/upworthy-run-native-ads-make-feel-good/292406/
  28. ^ http://blog.upworthy.com/post/81385633180/our-mission-is-huge-heres-how-were-building-the
  29. ^ http://www.upworthy.com/about-paid-content
  30. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/14/business/media/upworthys-viral-content-with-a-liberal-bent-is-taking-off.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0
  31. ^ http://blog.upworthy.com/post/81385633180/our-mission-is-huge-heres-how-were-building-the
  32. ^ http://www.upworthy.com/all-7-billion
  33. ^ http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/11/upworthy-i-thought-this-website-was-crazy-but-what-happened-next-changed-everything/281472/
  34. ^ http://digiday.com/publishers/upworthy-gets-branded-content-stick/
  35. ^ http://adage.com/article/special-report-digital-conference/upworthy-run-native-ads-make-feel-good/292406/