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Why do videos go Viral?

Ever wondered why PSY’s Gangnam Style music video has over a billion and a half views? Yes, a BILLION and a half. Of course it’s entertaining and funny, but how on earth can a single clip be watched so many times and by so many people?

Well, it’s no secret that we live in an ever-changing time. This is a time where we all have the potential ability to make ourselves celebrities. Although everybody wants to be famous, this hasn’t always been a feasible reality. However, with the current media technologies, especially the advent of web video, fame is a possibility for every single individual.

According to Kevin Allocca, YouTube’s trends manager, there are three methods by which a video can go viral: tastemakers, communities of participation, and unexpectedness.

What are tastemakers you ask? These are celebrities, such as talk show hosts, that take a point of view on a particular subject and share it with a larger audience. For instance, if Conan O’Brien were to tweet a link to a hilarious YouTube video, it would probably go viral just because of the reach that a celebrity like Conan has. In essence, the tastemakers are the ones that introduce us to these videos, thus serving as the catalyst for them to become viral.

Another method by which videos become viral is the element of participation, or creative participating communities. Allocca states, “We don’t just enjoy, we participate.” For instance, many of us have seen viral videos and then the millions of parodies that accompany them – in some cases, these parodies actually end up getting more views than the initial videos themselves. Although a video may become popular “on its own”, as an audience, our participation and re-shaping of the video may be what increases its popularity and actually causes it to become viral.

The final method by which a video becomes viral is probably what you expected: unexpectedness. Sometimes, videos happen to become viral. They just do. Someone out there decides to share a video, and they decide to share with someone else, and so on, and so on. That’s all there is to it. This is why it is practically impossible to “create a viral video”.

We all have access to web video, giving each and every one of us the potential to become online celebrities. As the audience, it is up to us to define what is and isn’t popular because we have become the judges; we now have ownership in our own popular culture.

Since the audience is able to determine what goes viral and what doesn’t, this technically means we know what content is worth the fame and what isn’t. That is why here at Keywest, we strive to give you the best product possible – you are the very same audience that judges all of the other content out there. With the right elements and exposure, your corporate video has the potential to become the next big thing!

Don’t believe us? Just look at the Old Spice commercial:

Keywest Video Inc -Corporate Video Blog -Why do videos go viral
Keywest Video Inc -Corporate Video Blog -Why do videos go viral

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