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BuzzFeed launches its first stand-alone video app

BuzzFeed launches its first stand-alone video app
Buzzfeed workers edit videos at the website's Los Angeles offices in 2013. (Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times)

BuzzFeed appeals to audiences during those moments of procrastination at work or standing in line waiting for your soy nonfat latte to appear.

But until now, you had to either happen upon Buzzfeed videos on Facebook, search for them on YouTube or navigate the main website or app in hopes of finding the videos you like.

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On Tuesday, the New York media company released its first stand-alone video app designed to make binge-watching titles like "When You Have to Poop at Work" or "Lies All BFFs Tell Each Other" far easier by housing them all in one place.

The new product highlights the company's emphasis on video, which commands higher advertising rates and has been driven by growing millennial audiences on mobile devices. More than 70% of BuzzFeed's views are on a smartphone or tablet.

Up until now, BuzzFeed had been sharing its videos on YouTube. But with the new app, the company's content will be stored natively on its own servers, giving BuzzFeed access to more audience data.

Advertising will continue to come in the form of BuzzFeed's branded videos, which are videos that can often pass for ordinary BuzzFeed content but are paid for by advertisers.

BuzzFeed is estimated to be valued at around $1.5 billion. The company has raised funding from venture capital heavyweights such as Andreessen Horowitz. Last August, it received a $200-million investment from NBCUniversal.

Twitter: @dhpierson

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