What Makes A Video Go Viral?

8 Apr

On Youtube, 48 hours of video are uploaded every minute, resulting in nearly 8 years of content uploaded every day. However, only a small percentage of these videos become viral. So what exactly are the components of a video that make it go viral? It’s hard to say exactly what the formula is for making a video something people want to watch and share with their friends, but Youtube’s trends manager, Kevin Allocca, discusses the reasons a video goes viral in this talk from TEDYouth.

As we can see, the three main reasons that Allocca says make a video are:

1. Tastemakers
2. Communities & Engagement
3. Unexpectedness

First of all, tastemakers are those opinion leaders such as celebrities or thought leaders who already have a community of followers who come across your video and share it.

Communities and engagement are the components of your video that target a certain community that is already established that would love to take your video and run with it.

“Charlie Bit My Finger” is one of the top viewed Youtube videos of all time. Something that makes this video so appealing is the small children and British accents. I’m sure a slew of parents and any one that loves adorable children (anyone with a heart) can appreciate the cuteness of this video. Perhaps also the reason this video is so popular is because of how “quotable” it is. Come on, admit it, if you have seen this video, you probably have quoted soon after in your best British accent, “Charlie bit my finga, and it weally hurts!”

Unexpectedness is the key ingredient that makes your video worth sharing! Something that is unique, unexpected, and different which will make your video stand out from the crowd.

Maybe Scarlett falling off this table wasn’t incredibly unexpected. We all kind of saw it coming… a girl getting on a table and singing, kind of the recipe for disaster. However, the tumble is just TOO good!

So as you can see, there really isn’t a formula, per se, that makes a viral video. But when making videos really think if it is unique and if it is something that people will want to spend their time watching and share with friends! And if you somehow have crazy connections with celebrities, get them to post it on their pages!


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