Summary:

Social news site Buzzfeed has acquired Kingfish Labs, a New York startup that processes natural language on Facebook to determine user interests. Buzzfeed said it plans to apply Kingfish’s technology to optimize ad targeting for its brand clients on social networks.

Buzzfeed cats

Can ads go as viral as squeal-inducing animal pictures? Social news site Buzzfeed is angling to try and its bet is that its new acquisition, Kingfish, will help it get there faster.

The company on Thursday said that it had purchased the small New York startup for an undisclosed amount (in its first acquisition), adding three new technical hires.

Kingfish Labs, which has raised $500,000 from Lerer Ventures and Softbank Capital (both of which are also Buzzfeed investors), was launched about a year ago to process natural language on Facebook to figure out user interests and match up members for dating.

Jon Steinberg, Buzzfeed’s president and COO, said the company plans to apply that underlying technology in its efforts to create and seed social ads for its brand clients.

“A big part of what we do is extend those [brand's] campaigns and seed them in paid units on Facebook and Twitter,” he said. “We’re going to use that same technology to determine the interests of Facebook’s users… and target Sponsored Stories more granularly, based on those interests.”

Aside from sharing investors, Buzzfeed co-founder Jonah Peretti also worked with Kingfish co-founders Jeff Revesz and Rob Fishman at Huffington Post. Revesz and the other two technical former Kingfishers will join Buzzfeed’s engineering team but Fishman will not be joining the company.

Image via SocialHype

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