I have watched a lot of viral videos, some are good some bad. They have even started TV shows based entirely on viral videos (Right This Minute) and it got me thinking, how do these videos become viral? Why do people flock to watch them? Then I went on a quest to find some level of explanation, for myself and you of course.
So many hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute and only a handful becomes viral. In 2011, Kevin Allocca, trends manager at YouTube mentioned three things that make videos viral:
Tastemakers are people that introduce the larger audience to new and interesting things. These are people that are well known or in a position that they already have a large audience and when it’s picked up, the video/message spreads. for instance, Jimmy Fallon tweets a video, then all his followers start watching the video which then spreads across the social platform.
Creative communities of participation are a group of people who share the video as a big inside joke or just as a conversation piece and start talking about it and doing things with the video, like mimes. The audience is not just enjoying the videos anymore, people on social media are beginning to participate in what they watch which is leading to more of the video getting lots coverage.
Unexpectedness means that no one could predict it. It might be just a weird old video one day and then a year later, it could become the most viewed. I will say it’s all luck, just plain being lucky.
All these things mentioned earlier points to one major thing: “The audience defines the popularity, (Allocca)”. I have personally came to a conclusion that viral videos come about just as the name implies, like a virus. You don’t’ know when you are going to catch it (virus) and when it hits you, it hits you hard plus it might linger for a while.
Enough with my long virus analogy; what I’m I trying to say? Don’t aim for your videos, blog post or any other social media shares to go viral. Aim to share great and entertaining content and who knows who might catch it.
Please comment with any ideas or what you feel are some of the reasons videos go viral