Many people wonder what makes something go viral on the internet. I’ve been one to ask the same. I first started asking this question a couple of years ago. A popular late-night TV host posted a video on YouTube where he disguised himself and posted it under a fake account that he made. Somehow, this video went viral without people even knowing who was in the video. How did this happen?

It couldn’t be random, right? It’s not random.

After much time spend researching what makes something go viral, I’ve found that there is a formula to it. Early on in my journey to figure it out, I located some helpful articles on the topic. Here are the links:

What makes something go viral additional reading material:

After reading these links, I had a pretty good idea about how content on the internet goes viral. I decided to give it a shot myself to see what I could come up with. I successfully had one article “go viral“. But, it was random, and complete luck in my mind.

I wrote a blog post titled, The Truth About The Powerball & The Winning Numbers. In this post, I included numbers that I played in the Powerball. But, the moment that the winning numbers were announced on live TV, I changed the numbers in the post to match the winning numbers. As a result, this already popular post went viral. The amount of views nearly crashed my website!

Let’s fast-forward to today.

I finally found a video that explains what makes something go viral better than anything else I’ve read/seen. Nothing has been more helpful than the following video recently published by TED. In this video, Dao Nguyen talks about what her BuzzFeed team has come up with to create viral content. Here’s the video:

In this video, Dao quickly explains what makes something go viral. I want to highlight the visuals that she used, because they are the most important part of the video.

According to Dao Nguyen Here’s what makes something go viral:

The content that you share must contain at least one of the following if you expect it to have any chance of going viral:

#1. “Makes me laugh.”

Content that is just good, clean and non-offensive funny.

#2. “This is me.”

Content that helps you make a joke about yourself. (Often critical)

#3. “Helps me connect.”

Content that precisely describes your bond with someone.

#4. “Helps me.”

Content that reveals something you may not have known about yourself, typically in a quiz result.

#5. “Makes me feel.”

Content that lets you know that there is still good out there.

When you find a way to effectively hit on multiple items listed above, that’s when you create something that will go viral! If you successfully have something go viral, let me know! I’d love to check it out and see which of the items listed above you used to make it happen.