Buzznet, the social network whose CEO told CNET News.com in April that he'd like to build "the next Viacom," has launched a sister site: Celebuzz, a community for enthusiasts of celebrity news and gossip. It's been in private beta for some time now.
Already dominated by the likes of Perez Hilton, Popsugar, and the AOL-owned TMZ.com, celebrity gossip is a niche of the Web that some might say doesn't need another outlet. But Celebuzz general manager Karina Kogan told CNET News.com that it doesn't matter. Research showed that celebrity gossip fans are more than happy to use "more than one source to get the same exact story. They're interested in different points of view, and frankly, they're happy to look at the same photo ten times, just in different settings."
She also asserted that Celebuzz offers something new. "There is no community dedicated to celebrity out there," Kogan said. "There are news aggregators, there are blogs, but there is no community for the celebrity fans."
Celebuzz features a full-out social network with user-created content in addition to editorial content coming from in-house reporters, partner bloggers, paparazzi photo agencies, celebrities themselves, and "expert panelists" like celebrities' personal trainers and plastic surgeons. At launch, Kogan said, it's already the "fourth-largest celebrity site on the Internet, period," following People.com, TMZ, and Yahoo's OMG.
Buzznet itself focuses on music, but had already inked "deep partnerships" (read: borderline acquisitions) with celebrity gossip blogs Just Jared and A Socialite's Life. The two social networks are not yet interoperable, but Kogan said that's on the way.
Still, she said, they're meant to be kept separate. "We definitely don't want to shove celebrity media down the throats of music fans," Kogan explained.