Summary of What Makes Something Go Viral?

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What Makes Something Go Viral? summary
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Rating

8 Overall

7 Applicability

9 Innovation

8 Style


Recommendation

BuzzFeed publisher Dao Nguyen talks excitedly about “cultural cartography,” the process of mapping the “jobs” that content fulfills for readers or viewers. Whether through livestreamed office pranks or memes about sisterhood, seemingly lighthearted content can help people identify, connect, learn, empathize or simply laugh, and that’s what makes it go viral. getAbstract recommends this applicable talk to media professionals and content creators.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How BuzzFeed uses “cultural cartography” to understand what jobs content fulfills for consumers and
  • How to apply this knowledge to create viral content.
 

About the Speaker

Media analytics expert Dao Nguyen is the publisher of BuzzFeed.

 

Summary

In 2016, BuzzFeed employees decided to prank their boss, Ze Frank, as a birthday surprise. They put baby goats in his office and set up a Facebook livestream to capture his reaction. Ten minutes stretched to thirty, and by the time Frank discovered the little goats, 90,000 people were watching online. The viewership surprised the pranksters, who thought only a few hundred company staffers would spectate. The BuzzFeed team considered why the live video garnered so much attention. Viewers’ comments suggested that “shared anticipation” drew them in, as did the joy of belonging to a community, albeit briefly. The BuzzFeed team created a Facebook Live event to test this hypothesis. Two people wrapped a watermelon in rubber bands until it exploded. Some 800,000 people watched in happy anticipation until the 690th rubber band did the trick.


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