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More BuzzFeed clones in India: Indiatimes Quickstir, IBNLive Buzz, NDTV Offbeat

Two additions to India’s burgeoning listicle generating industry:

TOI Quickstir

Indiatimes has launched a separate section called Quickstir on Times of India. Indiatimes is a listicle pioneer in its own right, doing traffic generating top ten lists on Indiatimes.com years before Buzzfeed even existed, but it’s a little surprising to find Quickstir on Times of India, rather than its natural home within Times Internet: Indiatimes.com. Quickstir features stellar works such as “13 things which happen only in India“, “Would You Share Food With A Hungry Man? Watch This…“, and, ironically, “Let’s break the stereotypes“, for a type of site that focuses on stereotypes for getting attention. Note that Indiatimes.com already has Buzzfeed-ish posts, so why the duplication of, erm, effort? (Hat tip: Sruthijith KK)

IBNLive Buzz

Meanwhile, not far behind, Network18’s news portal IBNLive has launched Buzz, putting its hat in the ring with posts like “Photo: Someone in Kerala Photoshopped Lionel Messi wearing a dhoti. We won’t lie to you, he’s looking….interesting, Watch: Ninja spotted! With an almost Jackie Chan-like jump, this ball girl proved she is the best you’ll ever see and Seattle’s attorney apologizes for taking bags of marijuana to the office.

Buzzfeed has recently set up in India, and we wonder what this means for sites like ScoopWhoop, TheNextMeme and Storypick, and with an increase in number of listicle sites, Indiatimes and IBNLive might be concerned about losing their own link-bait traffic.

Update: NDTV has Offbeat!

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NDTV has it’s own listicle site called Offbeat, Naman Sarawagi informs us. The site features important works like
The 6 Most Ridiculously Absurd Fashion Terms,Some People Think ‘Dinosaur Hunter’ Steven Spielberg is Evil But They’re the Ones Who Should be Ashamed and Office Woes: The 15 Most Annoying People We Have to Deal With Regularly.

This reminds of a website we wrote about, the week that MediaNama launched: NDTV Convergence had launched NoGyan.com. It’s stated approach, though, from what I remember, it wasn’t just about video: “NoGyan brings you the best videos from the Wild Wild Web! Lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy, pride – you’ll find it all here. Enjoy a sinful viewing.”

NDTV eventually shut down Nogyan.com, which was clearly ahead of its time.

On a more serious note

The growth of listicle sites is indicative of a subtle shift in the way the digital content is being consumed: earlier, it was about creating content in a manner that it is easily searchable, which meant that it had to have the right keywords and tags, and the right distribution of “Google juice” on a page.

With the growth of mobile and tablets, social is taking over, the influence of search on content consumption has reduced, and that of social (Facebook and twitter), has increased. News publications have taken cue from this, and are tweaking their headlines in a manner that arouses a viewers curiosity and makes them click for a cursory glance. SavedYouAClick’s timeline gives you a pretty good idea of who’s click-baiting.

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Also read: The Switch To Mobile

Written By

Founder @ MediaNama. TED Fellow. Asia21 Fellow @ Asia Society. Co-founder SaveTheInternet.in and Internet Freedom Foundation. Advisory board @ CyberBRICS

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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