BuzzFeed, the fast growing online destination for social news, including viral content, original reporting and insights across a wide array of subjects just announced it has acquired LA based games & videos startup Ze Frank Games. With the acquisition it gets Ze Frank, a creative mind who will help spearhead BuzzFeed’s web video initiatives as Executive Vice President of Video. Included in the announcement on the BuzzFeed site, are plans for an LA based BuzzFeed studio designed to generate content for the media companies online video properties, including BuzzFeeds YouTube channel.
“I’ve been a longtime fan of the way that BuzzFeed creates and curates great social content, so it’s a thrill to join them. There is a great opportunity to bring BuzzFeed’s philosophy to the wild west of online video and I’m excited to be putting together a talented team in LA to make that happen,”
Ze Frank Games was launched back in 2010 and received funding to the tune of $700,00 from investors including Andreessen Horowitz and Lerer Ventures, who also backs BuzzFeed, according to an article in AllThingsD. Also quoted in the article was BuzzFeed CEO Jonah Peretti, who summarized, “Facebook and Twitter have been huge for the growth of BuzzFeed so far and YouTube has been the missing piece,” Peretti says. “Ze will lead the YouTube charge for us.”
Included in the post from BuzzFeed, Ze Frank states, “I’ve been a longtime fan of the way that BuzzFeed creates and curates great social content, so it’s a thrill to join them. There is a great opportunity to bring BuzzFeed’s philosophy to the wild west of online video and I’m excited to be putting together a talented team in LA to make that happen,”
Ze Frank has already been collaborating with BuzzFeed, with his most successful video based on their content titled “The Angriest Babies in the Whole World“, and is embedded below for your viewing pleasure. Ze Frank notes in the previously mentioned AllThingsD piece, that making videos based on existing BuzzFeed content is just one angle that the new production facility can take, and sees opportunities where he feels there are holes, citing “…there has always been a bit of a hole at YouTube when it comes to authenticity, human emotion, fun and play.”
Whether there are actual holes there or not, if there was one person you wanted to spearhead your digital video campaigns, it would be someone who has already done it. Namely Ze Frank, who has a proven track record to go along with current projects and insight in to what works and what doesn’t with online video. It will be exciting to see what comes out of the new BuzzFeed LA studio, and fans of Ze Frank’s current show, “A Show With Ze Frank” will be happy to know that it will not come to an end as Frank takes on new responsibilities at BuzzFeed.