By far one of the most common questions any marketer, brand or a person who just wants to become famous asks, the formula behind a viral videos is very elusive and for good reason, only a tiny percentage become viral and over 48 hours of youtube footage being uploaded every minute.
Kevin Allocca is Youtube’s trends manager, meaning he gets paid to watch videos and determine what going to be popular and what isn’t. Here in this TED talk recorded in New York back in November 2011, he goes through the three qualities that makes any video go viral online: tastemakers, participation and unexpectedness.
Of course, securing those three qualities is very much a case of easier said than done. But it gives a fascinating glimpse into what makes certain videos popular and how becoming viral is very rarely instantaneous. At only seven minutes long, it’s well worth a watch.
If you’ve ever purchased anything from IKEA, you’ll know that the assembly part can sometimes be a frustrating endeavour. You could be assembling a piece of furniture and find some parts of the instructions confusing, or you’re just greeted the assembly kit with a blank look.
If this even vaguely sounds like you, you’d be glad to know that IKEA USA has started up a new Youtube playlist called ‘How To Build‘. As the title suggests, it gives you step-by-step video instructions about putting together a piece of furniture from the store. There’s no dialogue or voiceover, no cheesy intro or ending, just a visual representation of how to assemble an IKEA product.
So far there is only one video in the playlist, the assembly of a MALM bed, but you would imagine that more videos will be added in the future. While its usefulness for the moment is extremely limited because of this, it will begin to develop once they add more videos to the collection.
It will be handy as with more and more people owning smartphones and tablets, they can just refer to the video to gain a better idea about assembling it. Of course, the majority of people won’t really need this as we’re all capable of reading instructions, but for those who get easily frustrated, this (and the other numerous Youtube videos out there dealing with the subject) may do the trick.
You may remember earlier this month I wrote about a crazy father who shot his daughter’s laptop on a Youtube video because of a Facebook message she had posted. It caused a lot of controversy and the original post has over 200 comments with people arguing both sides of the case and calling me all sorts of names for daring to call him out.
Well, the good news is that he is back with a second video rant, and this time his target is American TV personality Dr Phil. Although he is without a weapon this time, he does still have a good old six minute rant.
The original video has 30 million views at this stage and although this one has just been released, it is sure to explode in popularity again. It is all starting to smell a little bit fishy to me now though because it feels like the father is starting to turn into an internet celebrity, and I still wouldn’t be surprised to find out the whole thing is just some sort of stunt.
Even the fact that he is using Youtube annotations to encourage subscribers and calling his videos “Facebook Parenting” make this feel strange to me, and het only next logical step with this, being America and all, is that he ends up with his own chat show dishing out advice to other people’s children on how to practice tough love.
Response To Dr Phil
The Original Video
If you didn’t see the first video where he goes on a seven minute rant before shooting the laptop then here it is. If you want to see just how mixed the response to this story was check out the original comments here for some heated debate.
The initiative is designed to help organisations that aim to make the world better by using online video to further their cause. Organisations that are interested in applying to be apart of Next Cause have until February 27th to enter, with the selected nonprofits being announced on March 5th. Those selected for the series will attend a one-day summit in San Francisco where they will receive training on a wide range of topics such as promotion and community engagement.
Announced the service on their blog, Youtube’s director of product management Hunter Walk said:
“We’ve always sought to make YouTube a platform for nonprofits to broadcast their messages. And we’ve seen amazing things happen when the YouTube community comes together in support of great causes. With 4 billion views a day, we want to make sure nonprofits have the tools they need to reach the global audience on YouTube and turn video views into donations, volunteerism and awareness.”
In the video included, Youtube comedian Justine Ezarik talks about one of the projects promoted on Youtube last year named Charity Water. For more information, Youtube has a dedicated section for nonprofits which can be found here.
Having the video market practically covered, Youtube have turned towards making the company a self sustainable business with its own revenue model. While the majority of it has concentrated on advertising, most notably those banner adverts that appear at the bottom of every video, they are considering the possibility of allowing content providers to create their own subscription based video offering on the site, GigaOM are reporting.
Speaking at the D:Dive Into Media Conference this week, the CEO of Youtube Salar Kamangar said that while such thoughts are premature as Youtube doesn’t currently have a product to announce, it’s certainly something they are thinking about.
Signs of Youtube wanting to become more than just a quick stop for videos have been around for a while, most notably their investment in over 100 different channels containing original programming. Kamangar said that Youtube is making that investment as a way to catalyse something that’s going to happen and speed up the process by doing so.
“What we’ve learned from our experiences with Youtube is that you can’t predict what’s going to be big. We’re trying to place our bets far and wide,” said Kamangar.
An audio visual installation composed of 5,000 internet video diaries is currently on display at famed modern art gallery, the Saatchi Gallery, in London. Entitled “Hello World! Or: How I Learned to Stop Listening and Love the Noise”, the work by US artist Christopher Baker consists of video diaries being projected on a wall and the voices from the videos being heard in a “multi-channel sound composition”, which allows the viewer to listen to the combined effect of the thousands of voices or to focus on an individual voice.
It is the first time that the 2008 installation has been displayed in the UK, and the work will be sure to challenge many people’s perception of what constitutes art today, and how the internet can be understood in terms of modern art, so that ‘modern art’ and ‘the internet’ need not be necessarily seen as mutually exclusive terms. The internet is, after all, a human invention, but perhaps one that humans sometimes feel they cannot fully claim understanding of and ownership over, as the internet has become so vast and so full of content, as this installation indicates, with its chorus of human faces and voices detailing their lives, vying to be heard, competing against thousands of others.
The personal videos could be read as individual attempts to humanise the technology of the internet and personal identity, the understanding of which has undergone a major shift in recent times. The videos now have a whole new audience and a new context in which to be understood, the modern art world, which is a development that creators of video diaries probably never envisage when they record themselves on camera and post it online.
The description of the work on the Saatchi Gallery site says that “the project is a meditation on the contemporary plight of democratic, participative media and the fundamental human desire to be heard. The artist Christopher Baker, who originally trained as a scientist, is inspired by the interconnectivities – visible and invisible- present in the 21st-century urban landscape and is interested in the practical implications of our increasingly networked lifestyles”.
For those not resident in London, the video below provides as close an experience as possible to actually attending the exhibition. The sheer size of the work, as made evident in the video, makes for an overwhelming experience; in their individual attempts to be heard in the modern world, are the voices in these videos in fact having the opposite effect and drowning each other out?
There are billions of videos on Youtube and finding the best ones can be pretty tough with the quality content usually surfaced by the crowd but Youtube are launching a new tool today to aid video discovery. They are calling it Youtube Slam and it pits some of the popular videos on the site against each other with users asked to vote on the best one. It follows one of the most popular models on the internet of pitting items against each other and asking users to vote. What Youtube will get in return is user generated feedback on the type of content that people like and increased interaction on the site with more votes, comments and subscribers. There are different “slams” each week in comedy, cute, bizare, music and dance and the videos that get the most votes will inevitably get even more views on the site and become viral hits.
Youtube are also encouraging users to get involved in voting by earning points and getting extra kudos by being the first to spot the best talent on the site and vote it up. Each section will have it’s own leader board and you can imagine that people seeking fame and fortune on Youtube will be analyzing this new feature in great detail and trying to get as many votes as possible.
This is clearly going to be a massive winner for the guys over at Youtube because it is a tried and tested internet formula and will quickly get users hooked. If you want to waste half an hour head over there now and see just how addictive it is!
Alongside Google’s Let it Snow Easter egg which had its début earlier this week and Gmail’s personalised Santa, Youtube have included a similar button for its videos where you can make it snow for any video you’re watching on the site.
Located at the bottom right hand corner of each video is a snowflake icon which when pressed, makes it snow in the video. If you move the mouse around the screen, you can wipe away the snowflakes from the screen but if you don’t, they’ll settle at the bottom of the screen. Also, a small touch included with each video is that the ticker which tells you how far the video has played is now a snowflake.
Also, the team at for Google Android have made a festive video to wish all of its customers a merry Christmas which not only included Santa Claus visiting their office but a lot of Android product placement to get the point across. Enjoy!
Rolling out further changes to their products to integrate it with Google+, video sharing site Youtube has revamped its service to bring a more integrated service for users. Looking at the screenshot, the entire home page has been redesigned to reflect the user and their viewing habits.
On the left hand side, you have your profile, where you’re able to access the same information as the previous homepage (i.e. popular and viral videos) as well as subscribed channels and suggested channels. While on the right hand side, you have your recommendations based on your previous viewing history.
One of the main features that Google is trying to push is the launch of its channels, after they’ve secured a deal to bring original content and channels to the site. Considering the lengths they went to secure these deals, it would make sense for them to push this aspect and bring it to the forefront of their viewing experience.
Perhaps the most interesting addition is something that has nothing to do with Google. Not only you can sign in either through your Gmail or Google+ account (effectively the same thing) but you can connect through Facebook as well to promote sharing of videos.
It could be a case of Google giving users the choice so that they don’t feel Google+ being forced onto them. It might make people more receptive towards using the service and considering that Gmail users are normally logged in to their accounts, they’re effectively logged in to their Google+ accounts.
With the growth of viral and content sharing, being able to monitor how exactly your content is performing is vital. Being able to identify key demographics, by age or location among many others, is important if video content is a major part of your business strategy. Alternatively, if you just make videos for the fun of it, it’s a good ego trip to see some of your content do well in viewing and popularity figures.
While Youtube has had a tool called Insight which allows you to gain a better idea of your audience, they have now replaced that with Youtube Analytics. Announcing it on their official blog today, the new system will be rolled out to users who are using a modern browser today. Judging by the screenshots, the analytics system looks and presumably will work very similar to how Google operate their main analytic program. Not entirely surprising considering that Google own Youtube and the core of their analytics program works well enough for it to be used outside web pages.Some of the features included in the update are a more user friendly dashboard which will give you a summary of the key statistics and trends relating to your videos, a way of measuring audience retention, that is how far viewers are watching through your videos and more detailed reports showing what videos are driving the most views and subscriptions and the trends behind it.
Youtube have also created an infographic highlighting the changes made and what people can expect from the new analytic system.