Unlike my post regarding the top YouTube videos by most views, there is another aspect which is how increasingly viral videos have become.

For the longest while, Charlie Bit My Finger Again was ranked number 1 YouTube video for views and managed to obtain over 100 million in 402 days.

Then came the age of music videos on YouTube. All of them becoming more and more viral. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Justin Bieber, and Lady Gaga have some of the most viral music videos ever. Bad Romance by Lady Gaga achieved 100 million views in only 18 days. Gangnam Style music video hit the 100 million mark within 51 days.

A major social media initiative was embarked upon by people worldwide with the Kony 2012 campaign and managed to achieved 100 million views in only 6 days! It even attracted a million comments during the campaign.

Lots of people experiment with videos and hope they go viral. This is easily demonstrated with the shear amount of new videos being uploaded every minute to YouTube.

We must not underestimate the power of social media. It has become an integral part of how we live. You want to learn how to do something, you “Google” it, add the word “YouTube” in your search phrase and there is likely a video demonstrating what to do.

Where is this all headed?

31 Comments
  1. Forward always forward we go. We innovate, we invent. Technology and the internet has opened many doors and opportunities, i hope we can keep up with it.

  2. Often times, the way to get views is to upload the craziest video you can think of. People are enamored by things they don’t expect, whether it is in a humorous manner, shocking or something that leaves them in awe. Music is obviously the easiest platform to accomplish this. There’s not many people on this earth who DON’T like or listen to music in their daily lives. Part of the popularity of Gangham Style was the infectious beat and silly dance that went along with it. This was entertaining for ALL age brackets. When you’re able to bridge generational gaps, you have a winning formula for a potential viral video.

  3. I really don’t understand how Lady Gaga became so famous She wore a meat outfit at the award shows and yet she still managed to reach 100 million views faster than Psy. Psy’s video may have a common style but at least his style is reasonably catchy. Whereas Lady Gagas Style just puzzles me. Yet her fans continue to grow. You are definitely right, social media plays a huge role in molding these so-called artists lives.

    • Well my dear Sir, the formula is simple, when you give the people something WEIRD that they have not seen before they will do anything to get to see it or have it and that includes buying products and merchandise, that right there is Lady Gaga’s first and more exploited market strat. give the people something they have not seen and they will crumple around you to get a piece of it… In PSY’s case he sold his music based on pure charm, we have heard crazy music and ridiculous dancing but this one was quite funny.

      • Yes, there is quite a difference between PSY’s unexpected rise to global fame versus that of Lady Gaga and some other artists who have massive, widespread PR behind them.

        I find PSY’s story rather uplifting. He had been a K-Pop star in South Korea for several years with local and regional fame. Then suddenly his “Gangnam Style” video and dance went viral and became a pop culture phenomena around the world. And the song itself became an international smash hit single. Being the first ever to get a billion-plus views for a video on YouTube is quite an astonishing achievement as well.

        I was happy to see that his follow-up song and video “Gentleman” have also done well. Various commentators and bloggers were all set to brand him a one-hit wonder and he proved them quite wrong!

  4. It’s crazy how quickly things can go viral these days. It just proves how effective social media is and why people shouldn’t discount it from anything. People have gone from regular citizens to superstars almost overnight!

  5. This blog is quite true: technology and social media is everything these days and its effects on society cannot be ignored. Thank you for sharing! The “Most Viewed” page on Youtube is an extremely frequently-visited page and videos can go viral just like that. All you need is a decent video with something original about it, lots of friends on social media sites, Youtube, and your video is set to go. Viral is everything!

  6. Social media’s going to be everywhere as soon as the technology allows it. Even people in backwater places have heard of social media giants, heck, even my technologically-challenged grandmother’s updated to the latest gossip thanks to Facebook! The only hindrance to its total domination of the world is that not everyone can connect to the internet yet. I foresee it won’t take a long time for that to be accomplished, given the rate of technological progress.

  7. I don’t think anyone is still underestimating social media. Maybe some private persons do when they don’t really use the internet but especially companies know exactly what a big chance social media is. There is not one big company that isn’t trying to do something with that potential.

    • Here’s the thing though. How much social media can you consume in a day? You only have a certain number of free hours if you are working full time. So, the range of social media is limited to a certain extent. A lot of older adults don’t use social media at all.

      • I don’t have statistics but I’m starting to know more of our elderly here who are using social media. I know one who’s been using the internet to make books and money too. It’s surprising how fast technology is. I would suspect after some years, there’ll be more.

  8. Virality! The power in numbers. It is amazing on the micro and on the macro scale. Someone loses his cat for example. She could go hand out posters in the neighbourhood, or she could post on Facebook and use this viral vortex (friends) to speed up and reach many, many more people faster. I would bet that the Facebook method is more efficient in the search for the lost cat.

    p.s. I remember Kony. Did we change the world or what ?!

  9. Being a video professional I have always wanted to produce videos for YouTube. I was thinking of doing video production tutorials but last I checked there were so many of them already. I believe most viral videos are usually accidents. Most of the normal people who have uploaded the now viral videos never expected things to turn out as they are.

    • Agree, on viral videos being unexpected. Even PSY, the dude who sang Gangnam style probably did not see his video to be -that- popular. As for your idea, maybe you can do something out of the ordinary on your video tutorial to make you stand out among other similar videos.

  10. Yeah, this growing trend of sudden viralness is definitely something to wonder about. IT seems that now, literally anyone can upload a video of a certain thing and within days have it be viewed by millions around the world. PSY managed to break a billion in only a year.

  11. What would be interesting to find out is how many people actually compose the 100 Million views. My son would view the same video over and over again for as long as he wants. That 100 Million can’t obviously be exactly equal to 100 Million people. On the other hand, sometimes 1 view can be viewed by more than one person. I often look for sample videos in youtube so with 1 view in my class, 20 people watch it at the same time.

  12. It’s amazing how exponentially the number of users on the internet is increasing. It’s estimated another billion users will be on the internet in another year.

    Truly amazing times we are living in…anyone can communicate with anyone in the world in a matter of seconds.

  13. I think it is an excellent medium for exposure. It allows the diamonds to be found in the rough. You just have to ensure that you get a little initial attention in order to built that necessary buzz to reach the “tipping point” as Malcolm Gladwell describes it. I also understand the opposing argument which states that mediums like youtube make it more difficult to get noticed because you need to wade through a whole bunch of garbage to find anything of value. Still, we’re better off with youtube because without it, people would be stuck with the generic, over-used mediums of radio and television which tend to stick with the status quo and rarely introduce lesser known artists to the masses.

  14. YouTube videos are certainly a powerful tool. I know someone who posted a simple video, it went viral, and for months his site received thousands of hits a day from that alone! I just wish he’d do the same for one of my blogs, ha. I haven’t had as much luck yet, but from what little I have tried, it does have potential.

    • That’s great that your friend was so successful in going viral. It goes to show that it can still happen, and often when least expected. That’s still something that I find quite exciting about YouTube. It gives everyone that same opportunity to have a video go viral and to get exposure and notoriety, even if short term.

      YouTube is an amazing resource and I believe it will continue to be for years to come. The number of visitors to the site is just staggering as so many recognize its value, for entertainment as well as education. I am among the hundreds of millions, often searching for music or for tutorials.

  15. It’s really crazy. Someone gave me a link of that Fox song and it was just around 14 million when I first viewed it. After several days, I checked back and it’s already at 36 million and counting! I’m sure Ylvis, the artists involved, didn’t really expect that to happen but now, they’re suddenly famous all over the world.

    • Yes, Ylvis’ ‘The Fox’ video has gone viral really quickly. In just a little over two weeks, they’re already at 36 million and edging close to 37 million. That’s fast! They’re getting a lot of publicity in major media and social media as well, which is fueling the viral effect as many are quick to declare them as the next PSY ‘Gangnam Style’ video.

      It’s great for the artists, as you point out. They’re really good! I hope it will translate into lasting recognition and notoriety for them. And for the rest of us, it’s fascinating to witness yet another viral phenomena.

      • Whoa, it’s at 73 million views now and still climbing. Someone posted here about viral videos being weird. I think that’s one aspect of it but it also helps if the video has something more to offer. PSY’s Gangnam Style wins because his humour translates beyond language, and now The Fox doesn’t even have that challenge. It also helps that their music’s pretty catchy too.

  16. I was thinking of what can reach 100 million views for Youtube and at first, I though the Fox should cut it. It’s been a month and I think it’s around 78 million now, from when it was first uploaded (September 3, 2013).

    But then I was checking Miley Cyrus’ song, Wrecking Ball. Whoa. It has 181.5 million views from when it was first uploaded (Sept. 9, 2013). Obviously, it’s doing a whole lot faster than the Fox but when you check the likes and dislikes, there are many dislikes. It’s such a crazy world where weird stuff like the VMA and Miley’s new look and attitude has accelerated gathering of views in a matter of days!

    • Yes, Miley Cyrus’ ‘Wrecking Ball’ is a perfect example of a massive PR campaign. She and all of her antics — and they are numerous — have dominated news coverage for weeks and she has reaped the benefit of millions of dollars’ worth of free publicity. If anything, I’m surprised ‘Wrecking Ball’ doesn’t have more views due to the controversy over the video; it sparks curiosity for that reason alone.

      But as for Ylvis’ Fox video it’s just a matter of time; interest in it will spike from time to time as they are in the news and/or on television. Likewise when their album comes out. It’s so great that they did get a record deal with Warner Music out of this.

      • It’s at 91.4 million now. I like how it’s growing though, because people are genuinely interested, instead of checking it for its supposed infamy as with the Miley Cyrus videos.

        I really think it’s going to grow more. There’s lots of news around Ylvis these days, mostly connected to their Fox song which in turn would get more views.

  17. This is actually similar to the “like” Facebook button. My friends always compete for this. Meanwhile, YouTube views really help channel owners get advertisers.

  18. Hopefully from this point, people can see the ease of “going viral” as a way to spread useful information faster, instead of something essentially useless. A good example is all those educational channels on YouTube, the faster they get out there the better. If they keep getting bogged down by gaming channels though, they’re never really gonna get out there.

  19. I still think that “Gangnam Style” was pretty amazing when it hit the 1 billion mark. It was also pretty coincidental how it lined up with December 21, 2012, but I think I know the reason why it went so viral compared to other YouTube videos. I believe it has to do with the appeal it had world-wide, rather than just the US. It had appeal to a wide array of nations, and the music was actually pretty good.

  20. There is an abundance of tutorials for creating a viral video. Their suggestions vary, and most are ideas with no guarantee that they would work or not. One way to sum it up is to plan the videos carefully, execute the plans efficiently, and then support the effort with adequate marketing. None guarantees such and such views in less than a week. I guess that is a mystery that the social media social media has been supplying us from time to time. Why one video works while a similar one does not shows just how complex the workings of our initiatives are.

  21. The number of youtube video views are a little skewed. I found out one day that if i refresh the video, it adds another number to the view list. I know a few friends that like to use youtube like a radio. They don’t even watch the video, they have it as a playlist playing on the bottom of their screen. Even so, youtube has become an outlet for people to get famous quickly.

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