My Video Went Viral. Here's Why

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  • Published on May 19, 2019
  • My hypothesis is that the algorithm, rather than viewer preference, drives views on the site. As the algorithm shifts, various RUcliprs experience burnout (as what used to work no longer works) and right now click-through rate is the key metric. So clickable titles and thumbnails are the only way to get a lot of impressions and hence views - they are the only way to go viral. This leads me to wonder which audiences will become most prevalent on the site and if there will even be a place for educational content. In the long-term, hopefully RUclip is able to measure satisfaction through surveys and other metrics to ensure an optimal experience for everyone on the site.
    Flipchart artwork by Maria Raykova
    Filmed by Raquel Nuno
    Thumbnail by Ignat Berbeci

Comments • 24 793

  • Nagendra Kaushik
    Nagendra Kaushik 3 hours ago

    Subscribe me

  • MangoIceCreamLover
    MangoIceCreamLover 3 hours ago

    I wish I saw you science videos first !!

  • Gunpal Jain
    Gunpal Jain 3 hours ago

    I am very picky about pressing like, subscribe and the bell button on every other video. I just pressed the bell button on this video after thinking about the time and effort it might have taken in creating those slides on white paper. :p
    I have no words for admiration of research, presentation and hard work done to create such outstanding video.

  • Nicole Martinez
    Nicole Martinez 4 hours ago

    Very interesting. I specifically look at my subscriptions when I log on. Do others not?

  • Quincy Dread
    Quincy Dread 4 hours ago

    well this just goes to show we are really heading down a slippery slope when sensationalism and clickbait is acceptable

  • Salman Umar
    Salman Umar 4 hours ago +1

    The only time i actually felt the need to press the bell icon. Well done. Well produced and educational video.
    Im also a small youtuber who started couple moths ago. We try to make moral lessons for children using superheroes. If anyone has time check out joker steals thors hammer on #tfskids.

  • Whizzhup
    Whizzhup 8 hours ago

    Oh i thought that video was
    Tony Stark.
    OMG I'M SO DUMB.

  • Prabhash Dhama
    Prabhash Dhama 9 hours ago

    Bruh everything will be fine don’t be sad :)

  • CRZIY BOY
    CRZIY BOY 10 hours ago

    Everyone go And comment on mr beast video that he need to make a video how to Get videos viral

  • Sixor Kaer
    Sixor Kaer 10 hours ago

    watch composition+read title+watch video length
    >>>1.IS this video important for me 2. DO i expect to have fun or feel anything from it

    thumbnail:toilet and a girl crying face
    title:Kid found out and scream there a rat in the toilet
    length:0:07
    me:click

  • Joel Torrens
    Joel Torrens 10 hours ago

    Looks like your Mr Beast friend may have driven your views up a bit......coincidence?

  • Owais Ahmed
    Owais Ahmed 10 hours ago

    The presentation on paper board was exceptional. Click bait or not, once you land here, you're sure to watch through. Good job...

  • 陳紅狼
    陳紅狼 11 hours ago +1

    I hate the algorithm, that’s the reason I only got to “subscribe” tag most of the time.

  • Peter Choi
    Peter Choi 11 hours ago

    "The message is the medium." Marshall McLuhan was so right 40 years ago and still today he is right.

  • Kate Lim
    Kate Lim 12 hours ago

    I got bored halfway watching the shade balls vid when the vid only had single-digit million views (I did not finish). I made a mental note, avoided clicking your blackhole video suggested by YT as I remember your channel name ( your vid was not as impressive as your thumbnail). I only have this much time, I dont have time for clickbait vids, I actively avoid clickbaity channel such as Pewdiepie (used to be a sub when he was actually playing vid games). I hope you remember the passion you have starting the channel 10 yrs from now. Or maybe it's just a money making machine hence the burnout. :)

  • Angeal Hayleyy
    Angeal Hayleyy 14 hours ago

    Don't worry,
    I will always like your videos
    You are always so educational

  • rhymeswithpulverine
    rhymeswithpulverine 14 hours ago

    As a result of your title.

  • Mark Dowse
    Mark Dowse 15 hours ago

    So, you have to have a "great hook"?
    Sounds EXACTLY like the kid selling newspapers on the street corner ........

  • Shloppie
    Shloppie 16 hours ago

    Bro, the Kardashians are clickbait. There is plenty of people in the world that want more clickbait.

  • EyeTheSkies
    EyeTheSkies 17 hours ago

    🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔🔔

  • Al NaJin
    Al NaJin 18 hours ago

    Dude, you're a genius. What a way for explaining youtube trends, If I could meet with you I would talk about this for hours. Sadly I live on the end of the world, Chile. Well, it is not but is pretty far anyway.

  • shovas
    shovas 18 hours ago

    Lots of empathy for you guys but do you realize you’re locking yourself in to a system you don’t have any control over? My advice is to disengage from the forces telling you what to do and just organically, holistically build your audience, and on multiple platforms. Right now, you’ve enslaved yourself to a treadmill. Welcome, you’ve built your own rat race on the internet.

    • shovas
      shovas 18 hours ago

      Regarding the bell, unfortunately I think many people don’t use it because A it’s one more extra thing to do but B perhaps more importantly we all get more than enough notifications already. I don’t think that’s a sustainable solution.

    • shovas
      shovas 18 hours ago

      Real solution: Build your brand, not your algorithm hooks. I specifically look for your videos. That’s the kind of viewer you want for long term, sustainable views and growth.

  • Jacob Burge
    Jacob Burge 19 hours ago

    i didn't even know about the bell

  • Tryhqrds Jr
    Tryhqrds Jr 20 hours ago +1

    Can someone just sum this video up for me

    • Tech Planet
      Tech Planet 14 hours ago

      Thumbnails, titles & quality watch-time are important. YT's alrogithm is always changing and so it's an endless objective to chase for youtubers.

  • JLT Productions
    JLT Productions 22 hours ago

    Very useful video....well done and keep going💪💪💪

  • Kenny gordon
    Kenny gordon 23 hours ago

    Sort your homepage by subscription videos. Boom i see em all.

  • Marko Posavec
    Marko Posavec 23 hours ago

    I don't like all the algorithms because they are slowly removing control from us. If youtube genuinely wants to be useful they should for example: Add the option to disable suggesting videos that were already watched and stop pretending that you didn't watch them. Every video that was watched should be marked as such, it's the main point of computers to augment persons abilities. And not to instead exploit persons inability to remember everything to corporate advantage.

  • WeBuild4Life
    WeBuild4Life Day ago

    I must be one of the anomalies. I almost only use my subscription feed to find videos to watch. I have a bout 240 subscriptions of all the content I like. That's where I get 99% of my watch time. Occasionally I will click off on to a recommended video, but normally if I didn't have anything else planned to watch,

  • Tejas Sharma
    Tejas Sharma Day ago

    Good Job.
    I just finished watching a 23 min video. Through out the video I was curious about what is coming up in next slide.

  • Ludde Nord
    Ludde Nord Day ago

    See you again in 6 months

  • Milorad Menjic
    Milorad Menjic Day ago

    Bell on youtube is icon it does not ring for start.
    Second how many did you clicked till now, we deserve to know that ? It is not ok to ask us to do what you did not or to do it more than you did.
    And last but not least imagine clicking them all, imagine all people click all bells what then ?
    Personally I try to turn off all notifications I can, from youtube and others, tell me how many notifications do you have daily and actually open them and look at, and then tell me that you want more, then you can go on youtube and click more, it is easy just ring the bell, that is what you are asking from people and it is not fair, why do you expect that we love notifications if you don't ?

  • Sean Tan
    Sean Tan Day ago

    21:04 the most subtle pun I have ever seen

  • Akshay Gadsing
    Akshay Gadsing Day ago

    Your videos are just lovely! Just Keep making videos on Science.❤️ And we too hope RUclip will optimise algorithm so that people can get informative and educational videos along with burnouts and entertainment and trendy timepass videos. There's lots of appreciation to channels like Veritasium, Asapscience and many more who work for educating people with Science

  • JL Universe
    JL Universe Day ago

    This video is very helpful and makes 100 percent since

  • benbmusic88
    benbmusic88 Day ago

    1000 DEGREE KNIFE!

  • Xela Crémant
    Xela Crémant Day ago

    Here's what I think: I think youtubers need to unionize.

  • Sam Oleynik
    Sam Oleynik Day ago

    🔥🔥🔥🔥🔥

  • Thamsanqa Mvayo
    Thamsanqa Mvayo Day ago

    I know this is a very late watch and response, I've been enjoying your videos a lot. I think you can do a little click baity type as long as it's not a complete wishy-washy, keep it real. It's a science channel, those of us who seek knowledge will come. Oh and I'm ringing the bell now...

  • Lara Mae
    Lara Mae Day ago

    22:51 I was satisfied with that

  • Henrik Kucsera
    Henrik Kucsera Day ago

    You already committed to a clickbaiting -- and not just titles, topics too. why should i ring the bell on topics that will remind me of commercial tv shows???

  • x FlushestMean93 x

    I understand what you’re getting at, you dont want your channel to sink to the bottom of the iceberg and because you don’t want to use click bait titles and thumbnails it’s possible that it might. I’m sure you’re actually fans will click the bell so don’t worry also click bait is basically tradition on RUclip, so don’t worry about using it as-long as your content stays at a good quality people will watch and not care about the click bait. So
    I’m sure you’ll be fine with click bait and without it as-long as you keep making quality videos like you have always done.

  • David Furor Curser

    Because Science

  • Alzorath
    Alzorath Day ago

    *(Long Post from a Creator of 7 years)*
    Honestly, I am fine with the current system, BUT there needs to be a tweak to the subscriber feed (and they did it a *little bit* by putting stories from subscribers at the top in some apps, and rarely putting that "videos from your subscriptions" bar) - I feel they've gone too far in one direction currently, especially when taking into account the site design (more on that later), and I really think that they need to either:

    A. Allow customization of your landing page (even if they make the "recommended videos" bar a locked option at top, I'm fine with that), so you can create shelves for 'my subscriptions' or 'community posts' etc. on your custom homepage, so that it reduces "number of clicks to destination"

    or

    B. Adapt the main page to include "X from your subscriptions" as a guaranteed spot in the main page. (doesn't matter if it's videos, community posts, stories, whatever, just give us a way to directly reach out to our subscribers without relying on emails or opt-in popups or other intrusive and ignored methods) - to again reduce "number of clicks to destination"

    -------

    I said I would do "more on that later" regarding site design, and you may have noticed a point made twice: "number of clicks to destination" - this is an issue google has been having for a while now, but the shift to Studio Beta really made it hit home for me - Google's design philosophy prior to this used to be similar to "KISS" (Keep it Simple Stupid): Fewest steps possible for the desired result, with a clear path - and clean interfaces.

    They've kept the "clean interface" point fairly well, but they've been creeping step after step away from click-efficiency. Going from subscriptions on home, to subscriptions "behind a click" is a big change... stepping even further to subscriptions behind a click, channel behind 2 clicks, channel feed behind 3 clicks, non-trend video behind 2/4 clicks (playlist behind 4 clicks) - is a lot more than it used to be. (playlist used to be 3 clicks). The "clicks to goal" for getting informed of the actions of your subscriptions though? That is easily the one that has taken the most hits - it used to be "1 click from video" - now it's "2 clicks from video + obscured setting consideration" (which they acknowledge - is a problem - a person can click the bell, but unless their account is set to opt-in to notifications from youtube - the bell will do nothing)

    The reason Studio Beta made me start looking at this? The Data they refer to as "analytics deep dive" used to require anywhere from 2 to 5 less clicks - which is significant when you consider that each "click" isn't an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity for a user getting lost on the branching paths.

    In design you want the shortest path possible to the most desired features (note: "desired" not "used" - as the later is a direct result of design, the former is a direct result of user), and this rounds all the way back to the beginning, and in turn a reference to their intents you made towards the end of the video: "Long-Term Satisfied Watch-time" - design can aid this or blind you from it, as they are looking for what people "desire", while looking at what they "use", without taking into account the impact of their own interface.

    PS -
    Yellow Journalism successfully gathers more users for the site, not for creators. The biggest challenge for youtube will be balancing these factors, and the tools are there (they have been since almost the beginning) - a logged out user, or an un-engaged (no/minimal subs) should be engaged with the yellow journalism approach to further engage them - a logged in user should be engaged with a core content approach (focus on their subscriptions, their engagements, their decided loyalties, even without the bell). Google seems to be stuck on a weird "X or Y" approach to this, without realizing, the audience on youtube is so large and diverse, that they need to account for, at the very least, this demographic divide, in their design decisions (invested v uninvested) - a one size fits all approach can't work at a certain scale

  • Anshul Gupta
    Anshul Gupta Day ago

    Yes i clicked it .. i support you

  • Akshaya R
    Akshaya R Day ago +1

    Ahh... This makes me cry... We love your contents... N we will always support you... 🤗

    • Akshaya R
      Akshaya R 17 hours ago

      @klen sal hehe... I got a alien friend called Omega. 👽

    • klen sal
      klen sal 21 hour ago +2

      Ω

  • Photo Spectrum
    Photo Spectrum Day ago

    I've been subscribed for a while, but I forgot to click the bell. Thanks for the reminder.

  • Chuka Nwobodo
    Chuka Nwobodo Day ago

    "...where millions of black balls on a reservoir is the thing that is going to rise to the surface." Great pun?

  • mitzy183
    mitzy183 Day ago

    i love how Mr Beast is so creative, and just gives away so much of his time / money purely for views. its amazing that a 20 year old has cracked the system! i also really enjoy the Ve series. you make some pretty interesting content without sounding like my 8th grade science teacher. its why i enjoy you and physics girl so much. your just purely there to teach us some cool stuff youve learned and hope we get something out of it.
    keep up the good work !!! (also the flip chart was amazing !)

  • Grisile HNNW
    Grisile HNNW Day ago

    I smacked the bell hard.

  • The mad King
    The mad King Day ago

    Mr.beast is an expert

  • issaciams
    issaciams Day ago

    This is trash.

  • vanillangela
    vanillangela Day ago

    I can feel the frustration through your voice. That pains me :( you are one of my favorite youtubers. You are so different from other channels. And now you have to succumb to reality

  • Adityaa ravi
    Adityaa ravi Day ago

    90% of this video's viewers - small time youtubers looking to make a buck...

  • grndragon7777777

    Well said. Just use whatever you can

  • Patrick Allen
    Patrick Allen Day ago

    I love you videos! It's a great resource for the search of knowledge that often times hits me all the time. Keep up the great work!!

  • Tech Planet
    Tech Planet Day ago

    Nice video! Just make videos you enjoy doing. Not every video is going to get a huge amount of views but you could learn more about the material presented and yourself. That in itself, is why I do RUclip.

  • Souleaterblaze
    Souleaterblaze Day ago

    the problem is alot of people don't subscribe and click the bell too. my inbox has like 300 emails because i havent had the time to weatch all my susbcribed channel uploads this is why people probably dont do that lol

  • Douglas Santos
    Douglas Santos Day ago

    you convinced me!!

  • What Would Happen?

    I quite admire your honesty lad, I mean you don't go around hoping that your good thumbnails and titles will catch peoples eye. Honestly it's good to have lads and lass's such as yourself who have hope for the future of youtube. 👌👍

  • zapfanzapfan
    zapfanzapfan Day ago +1

    Or, you know, once in a while go to the channel page to see if there is anything new and good.

  • Philip Smith
    Philip Smith Day ago

    There is a name for the problem you're talking about. It's called capitalism. Yes, it can mobilize and coordinate economic activity and maximize certain kinds return on certain kinds investment; but it has a mind of its own. Capitalism knows no virtue other than profit. America is a nation of Willy Loman (or is that Willy Lomen) convinced that if we were just a bit more skillful, clever, or diligent we'd have a set at the big table.

  • Leonaяdo DiCapяio

    I’ve seen the balls thumbnail a couple times. It seemed too unrealistic to me so I decided it’s a deceit and didn’t watch the video.

  • Dapper Don
    Dapper Don Day ago

    The most important factor on the web, be it youtube or online selling etc, is recognizing TRENDS early and acting fast! Amozon FBA for example. İf u are an early seller of a product that is trending u will make tons of money, if u jump on the bandwagon when its past the climax u will probably lose money! very similar on that point!

  • ICameToCommentThemAll

    This all goes back to game theory.

  • Wilson Vrieze
    Wilson Vrieze Day ago

    Thank you for doing this. By far the best explanation of the algorithm I've seen. also thank you for explaining some of your struggles with the algorithm without just complaining about it.

  • Argamis (SilverComet)

    RUclip LISTEN: I Recommend THIS video.

    -> Lets help the A.I. working the algorithm, it may remember us later when it conquers the world.

  • Destiny Fan
    Destiny Fan Day ago

    8:57 You just need to be a bigot. Though the common niches are already blacklisted so you need to do stuff like talk about mobile gamers being dirty casuals etc. stuff they didn't add yet.

  • Destiny Fan
    Destiny Fan Day ago

    Same thing as market manipulation.

  • Destiny Fan
    Destiny Fan Day ago

    They are pulling up the draw bridge.

  • Destiny Fan
    Destiny Fan Day ago

    1. Find flaw in algorithm (Spiderman & Elsa)
    2. Exploit the flaw
    3. Once they clamp down on it find another flaw
    4. Profit?

  • Destiny Fan
    Destiny Fan Day ago

    I the past it was all about merit, now it's more like whatever tuber gets white-listed by Suzanne Wojciki

  • Jo4nP4l4u
    Jo4nP4l4u Day ago

    I think a good possible answer is that if CTR and watchtime are the main metric which leads to clickbait, a good correctional factor may be the like/dislike rate based on your number of viewers ( LDVR ). High CTR videos with low LDVR don't get to trending, high CTR videos with high LDVR get to recommended.

  • veloc1tyTV
    veloc1tyTV Day ago

    If you start using clickbait titles I'll unsubscribe.
    I like the idea of high quality content and therefore disabled AdBlock. But if you start low quality videos lile daily vlogs I'll not do that.

  • OhanaOceana
    OhanaOceana Day ago

    1Sub for 2Subs❤💙
    Amazingly Fast🙏💯🔥
    I pray for success for EVERYONE

  • maskof
    maskof Day ago

    Makes a video on why his video went viral; it goes viral too.

  • Martin
    Martin Day ago

    First, this video is brilliant; it's a terrific reminder why your channel is so fantastic.

    Second, I want to encourage you not to think that asking your viewers to subscribe or ring the bell is "needy" because it really isn't. I've been watching your videos for years and I didn't subscribe until today. I hadn't subscribed not because I didn't like you or the content, but because a lot of everyday RUclip consumers don't subscribe, and they certainly don't ring bells. My watch history and recommended content is almost exactly what I watch, and I've never felt it was inappropriate for my taste or interest. RUclip knows I'm interested in 3 very simple things: Tech reviews, Vintage Restoration videos, and Science/Math videos, and that's pretty much all I see on my recommended page.

    Asking people to subscribe is akin to projecting a "hire me now" mentality in an interview; you're selling yourself, and you want the hiring manager to agree that you're worth it. Humility is good, no question; but humility coupled with a reasonable understanding of one's worth is even better. Be humble, but know you're worth it, and don't be shy to ask for your worth, or shoot even higher. That's how you'll grow. One of my all time favorite RUcliprs is Dave2D...That man is humble, kind, thoughtful, funny, and informative; he has a cute catchphrase at the end of every video that goes something like this: *"Thanks for watching this video, thumbs if you liked it, subs if you loved it. See you all next time."* ... Not at all pushy or needy. Every time I hear it, I remember to click like and I move on. It works and it's incredibly professional.

    I really hope you see this comment, Derek. You're brilliant. You have a new long-time-watcher-turned-subscriber in me, and I also rang the bell :) See you soon!

  • I am curious
    I am curious Day ago

    Just don't ever lie in your thumnails and titles

  • Mebibyte
    Mebibyte 2 days ago

    Replace views with capitalism.

  • mdr48371
    mdr48371 2 days ago

    I would like more videos about snails

  • Natasha
    Natasha 2 days ago

    exactly!! min 20 very true!! the road of hell was paved with good intentions! what we want is not always the best thing for us!
    this is the problem with so much freedom it will end up in chaos and anarchy. But still RUclip is the best platform we have today. You can find so many different things here about anything...

  • Reed Kuzel
    Reed Kuzel 2 days ago

    I think he thought that this would go viral to......

  • Vinicius Costa
    Vinicius Costa 2 days ago

    I guess people should change. I have my subscribed channels and everyday look what was posted and those who I like most put in the watch later list. That way its not easy to be in this rabbit hole of RUclip

  • potterholic
    potterholic 2 days ago

    Thanks for saying your channel name in this video because I've been pronouncing it like veritaserum from Harry Potter.

  • darkaster134
    darkaster134 2 days ago

    Clickbaits are bad if they are misleading and placed on low-quality content. Do the best to defend your work!

  • Akașșș
    Akașșș 2 days ago

    Does no one know that the subscription feed exists still?

  • M3t41-B4N4N4
    M3t41-B4N4N4 2 days ago

    i never understood this subscriptions dont show videos from creator thing. Theres a subribribtion tab and i see all my subbed to youtubers on there the home page changed for sure but who the hell browses that

  • Elliott hutton
    Elliott hutton 2 days ago

    But i scroll through my sub box every day until I've seen all the videos or decided not watch them. Yeah i'll watch new stuff from the homepage but i don't need RUclip to recommend me anything from people i'm already subscribed too. I click the bell for channels i want to watch straight away ahead of everything else, either as soon as it comes out or the first videos i watch when i turn my computer on.

  • Matcha
    Matcha 2 days ago

    Alternate title: man humble brags for 20 mins

  • Marie Isabel Vermelho

    As soon as I started noticing this disconnect effect, I just started bookmarking channels and checking if they have new content manually.

  • Bloxer Gaming
    Bloxer Gaming 2 days ago

    the funniest thing is that that video is being recommended to me on this page at this moment

  • Essah
    Essah 2 days ago

    regarding suggestions on improvement:
    I don't know about you guys but I often have the same videos shown in my suggestions for days and days and days. Videos that I am not at all interested in. The Suggested list should be way more dynamic so that any video that was not clicked by the particular user after being displayed twice, is buried, allowing for other videos to get a shot.

  • finnepower
    finnepower 2 days ago

    I want to be able to customize the ten recommended slots. I would make 2 slots be an anti-recommendation, would make things more interesting.

  • Languor
    Languor 2 days ago

    I can't fully imagine the nightmare it is to not use the Subscriptions tab on RUclip.
    This video gave me a glimpse and I pity all users who are not used to that.
    Indeed I use the Recommended section, when I run through all my subscription videos. But to have only the wild jungle that is the Recommended section as platform seems like a nightmare.

  • Cory Cunningham
    Cory Cunningham 2 days ago

    Wouldn't youtube want shorter videos so they can push another ad at the beginning of the video and make more money, In my watching of RUclip not many videos have ads in the middle somewhere so shorter means more ads

  • Jay -
    Jay - 2 days ago

    I bookmark all my subscriptions and categorise them in folders, a bit OCD and bit of a reminder of who I watch and want to catch up on. (youtube please build this in)

  • AesirWolf
    AesirWolf 2 days ago

    Am I the only one that thinks he looks a lot like Ben Affleck hahaha

  • Shell-Martijn
    Shell-Martijn 2 days ago +1

    Thanks for this video!
    I've learned a lot.

  • you tou
    you tou 2 days ago

    I only watch my subscriptions feed, and I ukfing hate clickbaits

  • What about it!?
    What about it!? 2 days ago

    Bell activated. Great video. I am just starting my RUclip Channel and didn't even knwo about the upcoming chanbe with CTR. Fun Fact: the video was not presented to me by youtube. I saw it on your twitter. ;) Have a great day and don't ever burn out. Your videos are great.

  • GeezR
    GeezR 2 days ago

    Now that you made me aware of it, I can say that I seldom see new vids from subscriptions.
    And the comparison to journalism is spot on, it's all about clicks and sensational headlines. It's sad that its come to this.