Online news source BuzzFeed has brought its blend of the novel, quirky and trivial to Japan, launching a Japanese-language service that targets a nation addicted to smartphones.

At a news conference in Tokyo on Wednesday, the company's new Japan unit said it hoped to become known as a source of compelling content, both entertaining and serious, and planned to disseminate news from Japan overseas.

Ben Smith, BuzzFeed editor-in-chief, expressed excitement with the venture, saying he looks forward to "taking interesting things that our journalists are doing elsewhere to Japan, and taking the great stories that the BuzzFeed Japan team has started to tell . . . around the globe."