Did you know? (aka. things to know while designing a viral video)

  • Obama Style and Mitt Romney Style, the parodies of Gangnam Style, both peaked on Election Day.

  • Viral videos tend to have shorter title (5.0 characters on average), and shorter duration (138 seconds on average).
  • Viral videos are NOT the most watched videos. The median view count of a viral video is about 3 million whereas 55 million for popular music videos.
  • Viral videos have both shorter days-to-peak (the number of days before reaching the peak view since uploaded) and lifespan. The statistics decrease over time. 
    • In 2010, it took a viral video on average 28 days to get its peak view, but it only takes 9 days in 2012. 
    • In 2010, the average lifespan of viral videos is 8 days, which decreased to 3 days in 2012. 
  • The popularity of the uploader is a crucial factor affecting the viral video's view, followed by the upload time.
  • A method to estimate the socialness/viralness of a viral video is to count the number of web pages linking to it.
  • The most favorable categories are Comedy, Animal and Entertainment.
For more information please refer to our paper here.

Make content appealing to the right country (using the right lanuages). The geographic distribution of the audience of viral videos:

Make content appealing to middle-aged males. The demographics of the audience:

The representative viral videos (last updated on 04/26/2014):
 Description Videos

 Most Viewed 
(1.9 billion views)

Most Liked
(8.2 million likes)

 Most Disliked
(1 million dislikes)

(1 hour and 16 minutes)

(3 seconds)

(Uploaded on 02/10/2006)