The 13 Most-Viewed Buzzfeed Posts Ever
Adam Rifkin stashed this in Growth Hacks!
Stashed in: Lolcats!, The Web, Best PandaWhale Posts, Emotion, Teh Internets, Curation, Images!, Awesome, Music, Inception!, Autocomplete!, Montage, BuzzFeed!, Top 10, Restore your faith in humanity., Interesting, Interesting..., Best of BuzzFeed
1. 12m hits -- 45 Most Powerful Images of 2011.
2. 10m hits -- 21 Images That Will Restore Your Faith In Humanity.
3. 7.2m hits -- 12 Extremely Disappointing Facts About Music.
4. 7m hits -- 50 People You Wish You Knew In Real Life.
5. 6.8m hits -- 25 Funniest AutoCorrects of 2011.
6. 6.8m hits -- 13 Simple Steps To Get You Through The Day.
7. 6.2m hits -- 21 Absolute Worst Things In The World.
8. 4.4m hits -- 40 Things That Will Make You Feel Old.
9. 4m hits -- 50 Unexplainable Black and White Photos.
10. 4m hits -- 32 Pictures You Need To See Before The World Ends.
11. 3.9m hits -- 25 Foods You'll Never Be Able To Eat Again.
12. 3.5m hits -- 25 Most Awkward Cat Sleeping Positions
13. 3.5m hits -- 40 Most Powerful Photographs Ever Taken.
1. Only one of the top 13 pages are pictures of cute things. Lolcats, of course.
2. Every list is a montage of interesting images found elsewhere.
3. All of them appeal to an emotion: powerful, restore your faith, wish, funny, get through the day, worst feeling, feeling old, unexplainable, must see, nostalgia, cute, powerful.
4. Nothing political.
5. Every post can appeal to someone with a high school education.
6. Despite many curators at BuzzFeed, these were all posted by just a few people. mjs538 has five, daves4 has four, and expresident has two.
Um, this may be "too" meta :-)
Whar conclusions can we draw from looking at the most popular BuzzFeed posts ever?
Your six observations are good already. I think they keep it simple stupid. I have only seen a few and I generally dislike most of them. I also would like to see a metric of how those top stories compare to the rest of their posts. What % of success are they achieving?
Very, very few of BuzzFeed's posts go viral. Fewer than 1 in 1000.
Most of BuzzFeed's articles are news-y. No coincidence that the founder was also a founder of Huffington Post.
The point is that there's a power law. The articles are long tail and the most popular ones do go viral.
I'm trying to understand their essence, but at the end of the day it's not a science or they'd have a much higher hit rate.
I think ultimately they have three things in common:
1. REMIX:,They assemble a montage of images not put together before.
2. EMOTION: They makes sure they tap into universal themes that have emotion.
3. SIMPLE: As you said, there's nothing profound to these. As shareable as an email chain.