You know all those BuzzFeed quizzes you reluctantly take because you just can’t resist the allure of talking about yourself on social media?
Well, in what should come as a surprise to nobody, it turns out that BuzzFeed could use all that data to help brands market things to you, reports Marketplace.
“Now that we’ve sold some companies on the idea of quizzes… we’re now looking at how to use the things that we’ve learned for companies’ benefit,” BuzzFeed managing editorial director Summer Anne Burton told Marketplace reporter Stacey Vanek Smith.
Ms. Vanek Smith cites an expert, who explains that by taking an HBO-sponsored quiz about Games of Thrones, she not only told the cable network that she watches the show, she also told them information that could be valuable for marketing purposes such as her favorite alcohol and food.
“That’s the brilliance of this plan,” Aram Sinnreich, a media professor at Rutgers University, said. “Instead of us reluctantly agreeing to give marketers information about ourselves, we are emphatically proclaiming to marketers who we are and then demanding that our friends do the same.”
But missing from the Marketplace story is the crucial fact of whether BuzzFeed is actually selling the data to marketers.
“We’re not in the business of selling data. We’re in the business of selling social advertising,” a spokesperson for BuzzFeed said.
According to BuzzFeed director Catherine Bartosevich, the only data that BuzzFeed is currently collecting is if the quiz was completed and an aggregate of the final results, not individual answers to individual questions.