Buzzfeed Wants To Sell You Ohio-Scented Candles And Poo Emoji Pool Floats

Regional nostalgia and emojis are popular with the readers of Buzzfeed, but are they a thing that the site’s readers would actually buy? The site recently purchased Scroll, a new company that Ben Kaufman, the founder of phone battery company Mophie and crowdsourced product design company Quirky, quietly began after the bankruptcy of Quirky. Kaufman’s new mission is to figure out how to get Buzzfeed readers to buy stuff.

Fortune reports that his new team is called BuzzFeed Product Lab, and it’s still early in its experiments with e-commerce. It’s only been open for a few weeks, but you can see what kinds of products we might expect from the startup in the products that Scroll already offers.

For example, there are the “identity-based commerce” candles of Homesick Candle Company, which are sort of a scented soy version of those Buzzfeed listicles with titles like “18 Things Only People from Central New York will Understand” that your high school acquaintances keep posting on Facebook.

Indeed, Fortune notes, Buzzfeed is already integrating Homesick Candles solicitations into posts like that.


Perhaps scented candles are too mature for you, or you have a vacation planned where floating on a giant eggplant is appropriate. Another Scroll business, emoji-shaped pool floats, may be for you.

The BuzzFeed Product Lab’s goal is to figure out what’s called “social commerce,” or turning its audience into shoppers who also interact with each other. It’s something that the site’s CEO, Jonah Peretti, believes will be super popular in a few years.

They’re launching a series of small experiments in the meantime, including a brick-and-mortar shop called Homesick for the Holidays at the team’s headquarters, and promoting a $35 cheese gun, the Fondoodler, on Buzzfeed’s super-popular recipe channels.

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