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Buzzfeed ponders Middle East expansion

Social news site assesses new territories with high social-media penetration

Buzzfeed ponders Middle East expansion

Viral news content business BuzzFeed, could soon have a Middle East presence, according to a report from UAE daily Gulf News.

The New York-based site launched in 2006 as an incubator for off-key multimedia content targeted towards readers with a high propensity for sharing, but has since tried to boost its hard-news credentials. The site claims more than 130m unique monthly visitors since November 2013. Some 30% reside outside the US.

"There is nothing like BuzzFeed [among] Arabic-speaking content," said Scott Lamb, vice president of International, BuzzFeed.

Lamb said high social media penetration was a key consideration when the company considered new territories. Other regions targeted for expansion include South East Asia.

An Arabic-language version of BuzzFeed may get started next year, but a location for its regional headquarters has not yet been decided.

"We're not that far down the road," Lamb said. "We have a fairly big office in London. One possibility would be doing a lot of the coverage from there. But if we were to set up in the region, we would want a physical presence."

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