Why Videos Go Viral

Why Videos Go Viral
By Kevin Allocca (YouTube Trends Manager)
November 2011, New York

Today, web video has allowed anything that we do to become famous, and a part of our world's culture. 

However, over 48 hours (or 2 days) of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute! 

Only a very tiny percentage achieve more than 1 million views.

3 Factors That Cause A Video To Go Viral:

1. Taste Makers / Trend Setters / Opinion Leaders
2. Community Participation
3. Unexpectedness

Taste Makers / Trend Setters / Opinion Leaders:
They introduce or highlight new / interesting things, calling attention to them, and bringing them to a larger audience. 

An individual, or a group, took a particular point of view, and shared that point of view with a larger audience. 

This increases the views for a video, accelerating the process of it going viral.

Community Participation:
People who share this information form a community 'in the know' - ie: A big inside joke. 

They start talking about it, spreading it, and doing things with it - Interactive Audience. 

This creates more awareness, and more people come to know about the original video. 

It inspires creativity and action amongst Web / Internet users. 

Fan Fiction, Spin-Offs, Parodies, Spoofs, Remixes, Mash-Ups, etc. 

We can all be a part of it - Because audiences don't just enjoy now, we participate.

The unpredictable nature of the Web. 

Only the truely unique, unexpected, surprising and unusual will stand out.

What Does All This Mean?
These 3 factors; Taste Makers / Trend Setters / Opinion Leaders, Community Participation, Unexpectedness; define new media, and the new media environment. 

Anyone has access, and the global audience decides the popularity.
No 'higher authority' has to approve your idea. 

We all have ownership in creating our shared pop culture. 

It will define the entertainment of the future.