You may have clicked on a link in your Facebook Newsfeed to PlayBuzz without even noticing. The first time I visited I subconsciously thought I was on Buzzfeed. It was a quiz a friend shared on Facebook. PlayBuzz is very similar in style, layout and design as Buzzfeed, the only distinguishing factor is that, PlayBuzz is just made up of Quizzes.
Playbuzz is an Israeli media company cofounded in 2012 by Shaul Olmert, a 39-year-old tech entrepreneur and the son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
And according to statistics released by NewsWhip, a company that analyzes how content gets shared online, Playbuzz, which launched only 10 months ago, is totally killing when it comes to Facebook shares.
In September, the startup had the second-most shares on Facebook, coming in just behind The Huffington Post with 7.5 million shares. It has even managed to upstage BuzzFeed, and rival viral websites like Upworthy and Viral Nova didn’t even make the top-10 list.
Olmert, the third son of former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert who runs Playbuzz alongside Tom Pachys and Yaron Buznach, denies this saying: “BuzzFeed is very fortunately positioned. Whenever anyone creates forms of viral content, they get compared to BuzzFeed. BuzzFeed never invented neither viral content nor quizzes. We’re not comparing ourselves to BuzzFeed.”
In September, Playbuzz ranked fourth in terms of Facebook publishers on Newswhip’s top-25 ranking. The ranking takes into account not only shares, but also the number of articles, likes, and comments each publisher receives. Its traffic is skyrocketing, too. When we talked to Olmert this summer, he told us that PlayBuzz had 70 million unique views in June, with about half of its traffic coming from Facebook.
Playbuzz also has a business model that Buzzfeed doesn’t have which may have contributed to the growth, PlayBuzz creates content for other businesses. Their publishers list include tops like the Huffington Post, MarthaStewart.com, and MTV.com. These sites use Playbuzz’s ready-to-use and easy-to-use quiz formats to promote their own content.
In addition, Playbuzz’s posts can be embedded, which is attractive to other news organizations trying to capitalize on the success of viral posts. Playbuzz has received $3.8 million in funding, most recently in July, raising $3 million from Carmel Ventures.