Top 3 Viral Content Drivers

After being inspired by an awesome video  I stumbled across last week, I decided to put some thoughts down regarding the nature of viral content.

This week, I’m going to look at the three most prominent types of content propagation.

Put simply, these are web presences that facilitate the sharing of viral content. By analysing their functionality, we can gain important insight into just how people discover and share content.

Social Media – Twitter, Facebook

First up is social media. Nobody underestimates the power of social media anymore, and pages like Facebook and Twitter are arguably the most powerful enablers of viral content.

It’s important to note that social media platforms are almost never a primary content hub. They are often not even secondary, and often content shared on Facebook or Twitter was originally spotted on another type of content hub. This is because these platforms have other functions which superseded being a content hub – i.e., social interaction.

Established Content Hubs – Reddit, 9Gag, Dig

Dedicated content hubs such as Dig, Reddit, and 9Gag are similar in that their core function is to allow content to be shared, and more importantly, for that sharing process to be controlled by the audience.

This means that you, as the viewer, have complete control over how content is shared.

The best part is that it means that content creators have to focus on making their content compelling in order to win over their audience.

People visit these websites almost exclusively to view content. Whether it be information, video and meme related content, these websites exist to expose it.

Direct Sharing – email, Skype, chat

Established content hubs and social media platforms are relatively new web spaces that allow us to share and experience viral content, and their popularity is core to the reason why viral content has so much more power now than it did a decade ago.

However, viral content did exist before these platforms gained momentum. Direct sharing through email and  chat applications spread content to go viral on a much smaller scale long before other more powerful tools were created, and they continue to be used to share content on a massive scale.

-Nic Simmonds – MD, Clockwork Media

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