Attempting to Define Viral Videos

The term Viral Video has come to be known as many things, but the general term seems to suggest that the content became very popular very quickly.

Here’s a short documentary from PBS explaining what the organization thinks is a viral video.

My pet peeve has always been when marketing campaigns label their videos as viral marketing. Personally, I define viral content as something people shared instinctively because it means something to them, or they just find it amusing or insightful. It is a label that is attached to content AFTER it is shared around the net. To me, viral is not something you make happen.

However, despite my personal views on the topic, this video does present other angles to viral videos. Marketing uses viral videos by creating something of quality. I always encourage that! That it gets shared like wildfire is their hope, and the best content will succeed in that.

However there is some bad content that goes viral too. Our human condition does seem to find amusement in others’ failures. That guy trying to look cool jumping into a pool off from a roof and belly flopping himself in the process will always be funny!

What is your definition of a viral video? What makes something viral?

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