Viral Videos and Why We Love Them

April 7, 2010 at 11:43 am 6 comments

A viral video is defined as a video that has become popular through internet sharing.  Usually they are funny or silly.  I think that part of the reason that small budget, homemade videos become viral is through word of mouth.  The majority of the videos that I have been shown on YouTube were by friends or family or that I heard about “through the grapevine”.

The reason that these videos become so popular is that once one person sees it and finds it funny or entertaining he or she will tell a few people and they will tell someone else and the word spreads like wildfire.

Also, video cameras these days are relatively inexpensive.  If you combine that with people who have a lot of free time on their hands you are likely to end up with some pretty funny material.

YouTube was founded in February 2005 and was officially launched in November, 2005.  In July, 2006 the company said that there were an estimated 65,000 new videos being uploaded daily.  It’s also estimated that in 2007, YouTube consumed as much bandwidth as the entire Internet in 2000  (source)!

Google acquired YouTube on November 13, 2006 and on the third year anniversary of their acquisition, Chad Hurley of Google announced that YouTube was serving “well over a billion views a day” worldwide (source).

I think that all these numbers show how a simple video can become a huge success overnight! I have favorite videos on YouTube just like everyone else.  Below are a few of my favorites:

This actually makes me a little sad.  It is so cringe-worthy (that’s not even a word but it should be)!  It is so painful watching this girl answer the question.  The question is about education in foreign countries and it should be asking about education in the state of South Carolina! What is going on in her county? Why can’t she answer a simple question? It is just awful which I think is part of the attraction.  It is almost like watching a car accident; you don’t want to look but you just can’t look away.

I love these dancing inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center.  They have done more than a few performances and this one is fantastic.  This video has gotten 40.6 million views on YouTube and I think that they are fantastic; at dancing that is.


Entry filed under: Social Media and PRCA 3030- Section C, Topic of The Week- PRCA 3030. Tags: , , .

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6 Comments Add your own

  • 1. carriebethabramson  |  April 26, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I love the Miss South Carolina video. It is so incredibly painful to watch… I just can’t imagine if that was me and this video was circulating the internet with millions of people laughing at me. She did a good job afterward cleaning up the mess. I remember seeing her on some beauty pageant show on TLC getting back into doing pageants after all the public ridicule. She also made fun of herself on a national peanut commercial. So despite making herself look really dumb on national television, she was able to poke fun at herself which made people like her even more!

  • 2. The Man behind the Microphone  |  April 27, 2010 at 1:20 pm

    It is amazing what kind of videos get posted on YouTube and then get popular overnight. In the sports world, Kimbo Slice was an internet sensation before he started doing UFC and MMA fights. He was known for being a “street fighter” and got recognition by his YouTube videos. Today, these videos are a way for people to show their creativity and possibly get their name out there. There are so many random videos out there, but so many people will sit and watch them every day. It is so easy for people to shoot something on even a digital camera and load it up to YouTube. I am anxious to see what is going to happen in the future with viral videos.

  • 4. Blog Comments « The Man Behind the Microphone  |  April 27, 2010 at 5:17 pm

    […] #6, Title: Viral Videos and Why We Love Them – Kelsey Hendrix Post Posted […]

  • 5. brigittegausche  |  April 27, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    Great post! Viral videos have exploded. My friends and I are always looking at videos on YouTube. One of my favorites is the one you have posted of Miss South Carolina maps interview. What I find interesting is that YouTube is better at accurate results using the searching tool than Google. I am not sure though the new Vevo aspect that YouTube is trying to push. But then again I am always very skeptical when it comes to new forms of social media. I like to sit back and watch first and then get into using and telling others. That way I don’t look like an idiot if it isn’t a great idea.

  • 6. Blog Comments! « Brigitte Gausche  |  April 27, 2010 at 10:36 pm

    […] View Comment Here […]


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