By now you know that Ellen DeGeneris’s selfie of herself and several stars at the Academy Awards became the most popular image ever tweeted on Twitter. To date, the selfie has been retweeted almost 4 million times.
Why did that selfie go viral and why do some videos get millions of views?
The New Media World
In this TED video, Ted Allocca, Trends Manager at YouTube, describes the trend in which the audience is creating a new kind of culture where everyone has access to ideas and communities are defining the popularity of entertainment. At last count, 100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute. So what makes a video go viral?
- Tastemakers. The Yosemitebear Mountain Double Rainbow video only went viral when it was tweeted by talk show host Jimmy Kimmel. To date the video has been viewed over 39 million times.
- Community participation. Something will go viral when the community is able to participate. People who tweeted Ellen DeGeneris’s selfie wanted to be part of the community that shared the selfie with their followers. What Allocca calls the “remix community” will add their own creativity with parodies of popular videos and to their tweets (with their own selfies).
- Unexpectedness. bike lanes by Casey Neistat is a video uploaded by bike rider Neistat to complain about a ticket he received in New York for not riding in the bike lane. I won’t spoil the unexpected ending.
Here is the video in which Allocca makes his compelling argument that the audience is defining popular culture.