How Do Viral Videos Work?

So, I’ve watched a few viral videos, and I thought, “How the hell does a video get millions of views in just a few days?” I looked into it a little bit, and this is what I found. It’s common sense, really, but here it is anyway:

Essentially, it takes three things for a video to go viral:

Introducers, sharing groups, and the surprise effect.

Introducers (Jimmy Kimmel, Ellen DeGeneres, etc.) acquaint us with new and interesting videos and present them to a larger audience.

Sharing groups are, for example, bloggers who write about it, Tweeters with large amounts of followers who share the video, etc. That’s something you can do, and by doing so, you are actually part of the sharing phenomenon of the video. You can create your own remixes, add your own subtitles, and whatever else. You have your own part in the virality of the video. Yeah, I just made up a word. Virality. It’s a thing now.

See, every minute, over 48 hours of footage is uploaded to Youtube, so only the unique, creative, and unexpected ones stick out of the gamut of normal videos. If you want your video to go viral, it has to be totally surprising and/or humorous. It has to have that surprise effect.

In the end, the audience defines the popularity. Nobody cares if you say, “Yo bitchez, dis video be da shit, yo!” Only if the rest of the viewers think it’s “da shit, yo,” THEN it is, in fact, da shit. Yo.

But yeah, it also involves a little bit of luck. There’s a higher chance of your video going viral if you already uploaded a few videos in the past. It’s like flipping a coin. You can wish for “heads” but you might get “tails” the first five times, and only the sixth flip will be “heads.” So if you upload one video, and it’s really fantastic, don’t expect it to go viral, ok? Ok.

And that’s kind of what happens when videos enter the realm of virality. You’re welcome.

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