BuzzFeed has debuted a new ad format called Swarm, which will let advertisers simultaneously target viewers across BuzzFeed's website, mobile apps, and six top social networks, according to Adweek. The product was unveiled at South by Southwest Interactive, during a keynote on Saturday by BuzzFeed CMO Frank Cooper.
Swarm, currently in beta, will allow advertising campaigns to reach consumers through Vine, YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Snapchat's Discover channels, Cooper said, as per Adweek's report. BuzzFeed, which boasts more than 5 billion monthly content views, allegedly draws more than half of those views from content posted directly to Facebook and Snapchat.
Comcast's NBCUniversal reportedly first tested the ad format in December to promote Sisters, the comedy starring Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. As a result of that campaign, BuzzFeed's content comprised three out of the top 10 Facebook posts tagged with the movie's hashtag, according to Adweek.
"We're going to open this up for other clients because we think this is a unique proposition for advertisers," Cooper said during the keynote.
One thing Cooper acknowledged, however, is that it can be difficult for advertisers to know how many people are actually seeing their content across different platforms—a challenge BuzzFeed itself has faced in attempting to measure its reach, as outlined in a recent blog post by publisher Dao Nguyen. "We estimate that our current comScore metric of about 80 million UVs represents less than one-fifth of our actual global reach, based on ad hoc data provided by partners," Nguyen wrote in the post.
To give advertisers a more accurate picture of their audience, Cooper said BuzzFeed is using third-party measurement tools to better represent viewership across social media platforms.