Three months ago the first major brand advertising campaign appeared on Upworthy, a mix of paid and curated posts promoting Unilever's Project Sunlight initiative. Now Upworthy is saying content from advertisers -- in the form of what it calls "promoted posts" -- regularly outperforms typical editorial posts on the site.

Upworthy is a site that curates and repackages content with headlines built to share, much like BuzzFeed or The Huffington Post in some ways. But it aims, it says, for meaningful stories instead of posts about side boobs and personality quizzes. Advertising on the site is meant to reflect this approach, and the site's leaders say they carefully select brands.

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