My coworkers think I hate BuzzFeed
I can see why they might think that, since I tend to grumble when presented with a link titled "23 ways you know you're a child of the 90's" (or some other such nonsense). But it's not true that I hate BuzzFeed. I'll even admit to laughing at some BuzzFeed listicles, and, of course, some of their longer reporting is great.
While it's true that the worst of BuzzFeed is pretty terrible, it also may be true that they've found a back door to becoming a major serious news outlet. (Though, as I recall, MTV was once going to be the news source of choice for Gen X for the rest of their lives, too.)
But, while BuzzFeed is not-so-stealthily encroaching on legacy player's news turf, their signature style is also infecting other outlets. One journalist for a local media company in my town (a company owned by Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway) jokingly posted that she'd "done a BuzzFeed" when she published a listicle.
The Upworthy style of hyperbolic headline may be the bigger scourge to journalism at present, but it's such an intense effect that it strikes me as a flash in the pan. Perhaps Upworthy the site will be with us for some time, but the effectiveness of that that style of headline will surely fall percipitously.
As a fan of news, I hope the fine people at BuzzFeed to find a way to revolutionize journalism for the 21st century, but in the meantime I just hope to be sent fewer unfunny lists of GIFs.