How Pixable pivoted from a photo management app into a content site for millennials

How Pixable pivoted from a photo management app into a content site for millennials

Longtime readers may remember Pixable, a smart app that helped highlight the most interesting photos and videos taken by your friends on Facebook, among other things. It was acquired by SingTel for $26.5 million in 2012 and since then… well, it’s transformed beyond all recognition.

The Pixable of 2015 is a content site aimed at 18- to 34-year-olds, packed with GIFs and covering everything from quirky stories to serious reporting. The original development team is still on board, now using their technology behind the scenes.

In short, the Pixable of 2015 is a technology-powered media company. Well, if BuzzFeed can do it…

It certainly seems to be working for Pixable though. The original app’s audience reached 2 million at its peak, but by early last year that was on the decline and a decision was made to pivot into content. Chris Anderson, a former editor at Business Insider, the Huffington Post and CNN, was brought in to head up an editorial team that now numbers 15.

While traffic for the new site started out at a few hundred thousand, Pixable says it now attracts 6 million unique visitors per month across its mobile Web, desktop Web, apps and self-hosted video.

Pixable1

Available on the Web and via mobile apps, Pixable’s content covers everything from looting in Baltimore to Cats Who Would Make Awesome Jedis. Think BuzzFeed but with even more GIFs – seriously, even the author byline photos are GIFs, which is all nice and fun but maybe a little out of place on a story about someone being beaten unconscoius.

It’s not just content recycled from other sources either, the occasional ‘Pixable original,’ such as a ‘The Harsh Reality Of Atlantic City You’re Not Supposed To See,’ pops up as you browse the site.

Having established that the site can attract an audience, Pixable is building out its featureset. Most notably, as of today, visitors can set up a profile page where they can collect their favorite articles. These are then saved for offline reading in the new version of the iOS app.

Pixable iOS

Pixable is now a very different beast to the one SingTel bought three years ago, but CEO Andy Volanakis tells me that the technology behind the original app is still very much alive and will be used to roll out increased personalization in the future. This will enable content to be more specifically targeted at individual users.

Of course, technology aside, Pixable is yet another content site aimed at millennials, and it faces rivals with deep pockets and larger established audiences. It’s going to have to use all the technology at its disposal to compete.

Pixable

Read next: The state of storytelling in the internet age

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