16 People Who Left BuzzFeed to Become YouTube Stars
July 22, 2018
Buzzfeed is one of the world’s top digital media companies. Its knack for creating viral quizzes, videos and articles has grown its global audience to 650
million people, and the company gets an average of 9 BILLION views a month.
What BF does isn’t exactly rocket science, however. While the media company does have a team of news writers and investigative reporters, most of its content is fun, silly, entertaining or often all three. Not to mention their office looks like the funnest place to work on earth. That’s why viewers everywhere were so intrigued by the string of “Why I Left Buzzfeed” videos that began popping up in 2016. People couldn’t fathom why anyone would leave a place as fun as the ‘feed, so the vids quickly gained millions of views.
Each person had their own reasons for parting ways with the company, but the three main issues were 1) Lack of ownership of work 2) The inability to work on outside projects and 3) The desire for more freedom. Not surprisingly, a lot of the employees who left Buzzfeed turned to another site that thrives off of viral content:
1 of 12
The Try Guys
The Try Guys were responsible for Buzzfeed's most successful video series. The group's content, which included videos such as "
The Try Guys Raise Toddlers For A Day" and " The Try Guys Wear Boob Weights For A Day," racked up millions of views for the company, and the boys behind it even developed their own dedicated fanbase.
Just last month, Buzzfeed
announced that Ned Fulmer, Keith Habersberger, Zach Kornfeld and Eugene Lee Yang would be branching off to start their own production company and create Try Guys videos on a separate YouTube channel. The group said they will not only continue their regular videos, but will also do feature-length films and live tours eventually.
The Try Guys already have over 1.6 million subscribers and say they're super excited to create more fun content for their fans.
2 of 12
Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin
Gaby Dunn and Allison Raskin explained why they parted ways with the company when they posted a video on John and Hank Green's channel, vlogbrothers, titled, " Why We Left Buzzfeed (Some Thoughts on Taking Risks)."
When the girls worked for Buzzfeed, they also had their own growing YouTube channel, "
Just Between Us." They said in the video that they couldn't keep doing both forever, so they decided to leave Buzzfeed and do YouTube full time. The channel has nearly 750,000 subscribers now, and the duo even wrote a YA novel together.
3 of 12
Safiya Nygaard's " Why I Left Buzzfeed" video technically wasn't the first, it was the most-viewed and the most talked about of its kind. Perhaps that was because the brunette was part of the extremely popular " Ladylike" video series and fans were heartbroken when she announced her departure.
It was a big loss for Buzzfeed, no doubt, but Saf quickly found her own success with her
YouTube channel. She currently has 5.4 million subscribers, and her videos, which typically include trying out makeup, clothes, trends and hacks, get just as many views as Buzzfeed's.
4 of 12
When viewers clicked on
Chris Reinacher's " Why I Left Buzzfeed" video, they probably weren't expecting to see the full-scale production that ensued. The former BF actor, writer and producer showcased his video-making talents while explaining the reasons why he quit. He said he wanted to be able to focus on one thing at a time, and Buzzfeed also fired his best friend, Brittany Ashley, which he didn't take too well.
Thanks to that video, he amassed over half a million subscribers on
YouTube, who get to see original skits and shorts created by Chris himself.
5 of 12
Brittany Ashley didn't exactly leave Buzzfeed on her own accord. The former employee was actually fired, along with colleague Jenny Lorenzo, for appearing in the web series " Gente-fied" while still employed by the company. Buzzfeed has a strict policy about employees doing outside work and both of them violated their contracts by participating.
Luckily, Brittany was able to find a successful career on her own. She now helps write and act in most of Chris Reinacher's videos, and she also hosts two podcasts.
6 of 12
Candace Lowry worked for Buzzfeed for two and a half years before she left the company. She went over to Popsugar for some time after her departure, but now she works full time on her YouTube channel, where she tries out various diets and workout routines.
7 of 12
Amanda Holland worked as a video producer for Buzzfeed from 2014 to 2017. The funny lady's content focused a lot on women and LGBTQ+ characters, and she continued that theme when she started her own YouTube channel, Girl Ship TV.
On the channel, you'll find original scripted shorts as well as her popular series, "Drunk Lesbians," which frequently features other Buzzfeed alumni.
8 of 12
Michelle Khare went ALL OUT on her version of the " Why I Left Buzzfeed" video. Instead of sitting down in front of the camera and giving a calm and collected explanation, she turned the video into an action-packed movie trailer complete with bad guys, fight scenes and other former Buzzfeed employees.
She quickly found her stride on YouTube, and now her 866K subscribers can see her trying out everything from
Khloe Kardashian's workout to period-proof shorts.
9 of 12
Stephanie Frosch (ElloSteph)
Stephanie Frosch, more commonly known as ElloSteph, already had an Internet following when she was hired by Buzzfeed. She brought an LGBTQ+ perspective to their diversity team and produced numerous videos for the company, but she decided to leave after being moved to a different video team.
Luckily she had her
YouTube channel to fall back on, where she still makes a variety of videos today.
10 of 12
Linda Barsi was a Buzzfeed video fellow back in 2015. She didn't specify why she left the company, but she got her MFA in screenwriting shortly after and has been making YouTube videos ever since.
11 of 12
Kenny Moffitt to thank for the "Why I Left Buzzfeed" trend. The former video producer was the first to make his version, in which he explained that the amount of content he was making and the lack of creativity he felt led to him become unhappy with his job.
Kenny committed to YouTube full time once he left Buzzfeed, but he hasn't posted a video in 11 months, so we're not really sure if he plans keeping up with that promise.
12 of 12
Jordan Shalhoub was with Buzzfeed for three years from 2014 to 2017. She made countless videos during that time, but alas, she too decided to leave the company in pursuit of a solo career.
Instagram post made last April, Jordan simultaneously announced her departure and the launch of her new YouTube channel. In a little over a year, she's gained nearly 200K subscribers who tune into her videos about health and fitness.