BuzzFeed wants to spark a summer wave of viral quizzes, lists and more — created by its own fans — by offering, for the first time, to pay them for their content submissions.
And the more viral contributors’ articles are, the more they’ll get paid. But the page-view thresholds they have to hit are pretty steep, so it’s unclear how many people will actually be able to cash in on the new BuzzFeed program.
The BuzzFeed Community team is launching the Summer Writers’ Challenge, which will pay cold, hard cash to contributors with the highest-performing content over an eight-week period (from Tuesday, June 15 through Sunday, Aug. 15). The goal, the company said in announcing the program, is to “explore what happens when we combine BuzzFeed’s scalability with tangible rewards for our Community’s most creative and resourceful users.”
Contributors can earn up to $10,000 for each post, depending on the number of page views each article receives. The payments are based on a sliding scale: For each post that surpasses 150,000 views, contributors who apply for the program will get $150; a post with 500,000 views earns $500; more than 1 million views pays out $2,000; and if your post reaches the highest tier of 4 million views, you’ll get $10,000.
In the past, BuzzFeed Community has run sweepstakes with a few winners receiving various prizes like gift cards. It also doles out “internet points” and “trophies” — which are worth, basically, bragging rights — to its top-performing contributors.
BuzzFeed is trying a new way to “gamify” content production, although the company has used data science to optimize content monetization since it was founded in 2006. BuzzFeed notes that content submissions are reviewed for compliance with the BuzzFeed Community guidelines.
“Our BuzzFeed community is incredibly valuable to us — our contributors are our audience, and opening up our platform means BuzzFeed can better represent and serve our audience’s needs,” Peggy Wang, BuzzFeed’s executive director of growth and trends, said in a statement.
According to Wang, many BuzzFeed Community members use the site to connect with each other through mutual interests and fandoms. In the future, BuzzFeed is looking at other ways to reward contributors “and find new ways to make the user experience even more fulfilling and successful,” she added.
To be eligible for the payouts, BuzzFeed Community users must: be at least 16 years old; receive a minimum of 150,000 pageviews per each post; and be a legal U.S. resident during the contest period.