The Internet is a huge place full of ideas. With more than 3 billion regular users, many of those ideas can be seen by hundreds of thousands in a matter of minutes. How do ideas become this well known this fast? How do they become viral? The internet is a mysterious place, but one thing we understand about it is how people spread information around. Let’s say you decided you wanted to post a funny picture and you wanted as many people to see it as possible. The first thing you would have to do is post it online somewhere. The rest is up to chance. The most you can do to make your picture go viral is tell your friends to share it and hope that the chain of sharing goes on far past just your group of friends, and on past their friends and so on. Anything can become viral if it meets both of these basic requirements: It has to be interesting to the public, and the author has to allow it to spread (although, if it’s interesting enough, it may become viral regardless of the author’s consent, so be careful). There are many things that tend to go viral the most. In this chapter, you will see how Technology, Social Media, Apps, Sports, Travel, and News trend (that is, be shared by many people). Remember, just because something is viral/trending currently does not mean it will always be popular. Most trends don’t last very long because people get bored quickly.
Technology and How It Goes Viral
Technology has made up a huge part of who we are today. Many people rely on the latest technological trends to help get them through their day. But, how does new technology go viral in the first place? In order for something to go viral, it must be designed to have a huge impact on someone. This person must feel so personally impacted by the technology, that they feel the need to share how they felt with someone else. The rest is simply a domino effect. One great example of how technology can go viral is the well-known hover-board. At first, mostly athletes and a few others used this fun yet innovative toy. Thanks to social media, like snapchat and twitter, other people saw the use of these hoverboards and wanted to have one of their own. This fad later fizzled out, as trends tend to, but it is still well known to those who use social media. Other technologies, such as the iPhone credit their popularity to new updates, and constantly changing features. The thing that allows the iPhone to remain so popular is the idea that owning a new iPhone makes one more desirable. People constantly want to fit in, and if everyone else has the new iPhone, naturally someone who doesn’t is going to want one too.
Use of Social Media and Memes
Going viral on social media is something that can be broken down to a science. Even memes, which seem to occur randomly, actually have reasoning behind their popularity. Many companies and advertisers have realized this, and are able to make their campaigns go viral by following a few rules. The first rule, is knowing your audience. The advertiser isn’t concerned with everyone seeing the content, but the right people seeing it. Based on the demographic that they want to target, they can create something that will appeal to them. The second part of making something go viral, is finding a way to invoke an emotional response in the demographic of people that you want to reach. By integrating different emotions into content, the viewer will be reached on that emotion and move to action, such as sharing the content. Building on of the idea of wanting people to share your content, a person aiming to create something viral must make it easy to share. They can do this by adding links to share to different social media platforms, or an attached link, which can be sent to others. Something else that makes content viral, is how much it has been remixed or reimagined by other people. For example, a certain meme can go viral when others add their own twist to it. People like to feel like they are included on an inside joke when looking at memes, and adding a personal twist can make it invoke even more of a response. Timing also plays a large part of whether or not something goes viral. Looking at what’s popular at the time, and keeping up with current events can help you figure out the perfect time to release content successfully.
Sports is one of the most influential things in American culture. Sports not only influences the grown ups, and teens but it shines it lights on toddlers, kids. At a young age a lot of kids into sports such as basketball, soccer, football and etc. Each of these sports has a different kind of influence towards the American society, the teens, toddlers, and kids all idolize the different athletes in the respective sports. They want to be like the athletes they idolize, for example in basketball one of the most iconic faces in all of sports is Michael Jordan. There is a famous saying throughout the American culture of sports “I want to be like Mike.” I don’t know how many times I have heard this saying growing up, whatever Michael Jordan was doing kids and teens wanted follow. In sports there were many incidents that caused an absolute uproar and chaos in the sports world, such as Ferguson, Trayvon Martin. An incident that caused absolute madness in the NBA was the Donald Sterling who was the owner of the Clippers, when he made a racial comment about his girlfriend. This caused absolute rampage in the NBA starting with the Clippers wearing their warmup jerseys inside out, as if they aren’t affiliated with the Clippers. The Ferguson incident however caused great amount of anger and rebellion throughout the sports world. The Ferguson incident is about an African American male whose name is Michael Brown who got shot down and murdered for no reason. The murder of Michael Brown lead to many different athletes to protest against the law by coming out the tunnel with their hands up, and other gestures. Viral trends in sports if very common and can influence the general population fairly easily.
Traveling is something most people enjoy doing. Traveling by itself is a viral thing because every year thousands of people book tickets to travel around the world. However, there is a common trend of the places being traveled one of the most popular places being travelled are Bangkok, Thailand, London, Paris, New York, Kuala Lumpur. The viral trend here is that since these places are so commonly visited that in a lot of the social media applications you will see pictures of these places. Also recently a very popular trend in social media is Dubai, Dubai is one of the countries that is very wealthy. The lifestyle of Dubai is very unique because a lot of the people who live in Dubai are very wealthy, you will see the most luxurious ways of living at Dubai. The one of the kind lifestyle of Dubai, attracts the attention of the Social media. All of these countries are so unique that there are many documentaries and shows the culture, and the tourist attractions of the countries. A lot of times social media will capture an absolute stunning picture of a country and that picture will get shared through a lot of the social media application causing it to go viral. Essentially social media is one of the best ways to promote a product or travel destination. If someone a famous blogger writes a blog about a place he or she has travelled, the blog goes viral many people will book tickets to go to the destination.
News is one of the oldest, and still most relevant types of viral media. News goes viral because almost everyone in the affected area, and many outside are affected by whatever the news is. For example, In 2016, in the US, the Presidential election is always making the front page of the papers, becoming the most shared topic on social media, and has the whole world’s attention. Most of the US and much of the rest of the world will be affected by this election, so logically, they are all interested in the topic. Another example of the news going viral was the Ebola outbreak from West Africa.
In 2014, the biggest outbreak of Ebola occurred in West Africa. Even though most of the world was far away from the infected area, there was a world-wide panic because of how dangerous the virus was in West Africa. People are always afraid of some mass disease, and any news of the medicine world is always a big hit. People are concerned about their health, so whenever something happens that threatens their health, they instantly want to know all of the details, and that is why these topics went viral. .
Nearly every phone in the world is a cellular (or mobile) phone. Most of those are called smartphones because they grant access to the internet. While they are useful, they would be very hard to use if they operated like any other computer screen. Some of the first smartphones did (recall the Blackberry phones), but now, all phones work on an application, or app for short, system. This means that anything you download or want to use on your phone will show up as a small square or circle on the screen. This allows easy access to anything you want. As you may know, many apps have become very popular among consumers because of usefulness. However, other apps have gotten very popular that have little to no use in the real world. Such apps like Angry Birds, Temple Run, Candy Crush, Pokemon Go (you get the idea) do nothing to help your every-day life. Why do they trend then? Because they are fun, and very addicting. Something about them makes you not want to put them down. They can even become competitive so that you can play with/against your friends, thereby making the game more popular. Even though most of these apps will last forever, they only trend because they are only popular for a short time, just like anything else that trends.