BuzzFeed Soars on Meta Deal Reports, Plans to Use OpenAI

Jan 26 (Reuters) – Shares of BuzzFeed Inc (BZFD.O) jumped on Thursday on reports of a deal with Meta Platforms Inc (META DEAL) and plans to use artificial intelligence to personalize and improve the digital media company’s quizzes and online content.

The stock was 19% higher in extended trading, having more than doubled in value earlier in the day as a Wall Street Journal report said it would use ChatGPT creator OpenAI for content.

Buzzfeed, in an email response to Reuters, said «we don’t use ChatGPT – we use OpenAI’s publicly available API (application programming interface)».

Earlier in the day, the stock jumped 50% on a separate Journal report that said Meta was paying BuzzFeed millions of dollars to bring more creators to Facebook and Instagram.

The deal, struck last year, was valued at nearly $10 million and BuzzFeed will help generate content for Meta platforms and train creators to grow their online presence, according to the report, citing people familiar with the situation.

A BuzzFeed sign is seen during the company’s debut outside the Nasdaq Market in Times Square in New York, U.S., December 6, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

“In 2023, you will see AI-inspired content move from an R&D stage to part of our core business, enhancing the quiz experience, informing our brainstorming and personalizing our content for our audience,” said the BuzzFeed chief executive Jonah Peretti in a memo to employees reviewed by Reuters.

The stock closed at $2.09 after hitting a high of $2.45.

Indicating interest from retail traders, BuzzFeed shares were among the top three orders on Fidelity’s platform on Thursday.

Shares of the company, valued at $132 million, have fallen more than 90% at Wednesday’s close since their IPO in December 2021 thanks to a reverse merger with a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) .

The company said last month it would cut about 12% of its workforce to control costs. Its net loss in the third quarter had widened to $27 million from $3.6 million a year ago.

Reporting by Medha Singh and Shreyaa Narayanan in Bengaluru, additional reporting by Ankika Biswas; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli, Sriraj Kalluvila and Devika Syamnath

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