BuzzFeed Opens Up Access to Its Viral Dashboard

BuzzFeed, which tracks online topics that have gone viral, is offering a version of the analytical dashboard it uses to monitor the spread of Internet “memes” to any website, brand or publisher that wants to track the popularity of their content. To demonstrate the dashboard’s features, BuzzFeed — which is run by viral marketer and Huffington Post co-founder Jonah Peretti — has opened up its own internal version of the tool to show all its traffic statistics, including the performance of individual stories on the BuzzFeed site and where the traffic came from.

The dashboard tracks what the site calls “seed views” — representing readers who looked at the content on BuzzFeed’s site or on one of its partners’ websites — and “viral views,” which are readers who came from somewhere else, after finding the item on Twitter, Facebook, Digg or some other content-sharing network. While a recent story about the best anti-Glenn-Beck signs at a rally got about 16,000 views on BuzzFeed directly, it got almost five times that many “viral views” from other sources. The dashboard shows the story got over 19,000 pageviews via Huffington Post, more than 18,000 via Reddit, and over 10,000 from Facebook. It was shared 900 times on Facebook and drew more than 1,000 “likes” from readers there, as well as 2,800 clicks.

Peretti said in an email interview that BuzzFeed has been using the viral dashboard to build not just its own site and track the spread of its content, but to put together viral advertising campaigns for clients such as Viacom (s via), GE (s ge), and Intel (s intc) as part of the company’s marketing consulting business. “We decided that it was time to make a big move and make the viral dashboard public, so everyone can see the internal stats we use to grow the company,” the BuzzFeed founder said. The site will be making the dashboard available free of charge to anyone who wants to use it later this month, Peretti said, and sites can also apply for early beta access to the tool.

BuzzFeed’s new offering could find a receptive audience; more and more web publishers are looking to real-time analytical tools to track how their content is performing on a minute-by-minute basis, rather than (or in addition to) using existing tools that look at traffic statistics over a longer time period. Chartbeat, which provides a broader package of overall web traffic analytics for websites, recently raised a funding round of $3 million from Index Ventures and a group of other VCs. BuzzFeed itself raised an $8-million Series B round of financing earlier this year from RRE Ventures, along with Ron Conway’s SV Angel and Chris Dixon’s Founder Collective.

Here’s a presentation that Peretti did on how to make your content go viral by using what he calls the “Bored at Work” network.

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