If funny cat videos can draw millions of likes and shares on social media then why not a funny Bill Gates video. In an attempt to get people to read his 2014 Annual Letter where he talks about major myths related to poverty, Bill Gates made a viral video which is actually quite funny. In just a week of its appearance on You tube the video, GatesLetter.com has had over 1 million shares and thousands of comments. His shot at using viral content to grab people’s attention has clearly worked.
Bill Gates is not the only one to learn from cat videos, Upworthy a new media outfit is making use of sophisticated data driven techniques to understand what causes funny cat videos to go viral and using that learning to make important stuff go viral too. Upworthy’s mission is to make stories that matter as viral as hilarious videos of some kid surfing off his roof. They are currently focused on curating compelling visual content that already exists, and package it in a way that makes people instantly want to share.
The Upworthy formula of turning unsexy social issues into irresistibly shareable content has been working, a look at their 2013 year in review shows that they were actually able to draw massive attention to some of the most important social topics in America, ranging from human trafficking, immigration reform, income inequality, healthcare etc. To create massive awareness on global health and poverty, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has now turned to Upworthy and funded an entire channel on the site ‘All 7 Billion‘.
Though Upworthy is exclusively focused on viral spread of content they find on the internet, we can’t emphasize enough the importance of producing high quality visual content at the organization level. Besides having a shot at your visual going viral on its own you never know when your video or photo series may just get picked by Upworthy. A video by a toy startup, GoldieBox that designs construction toys for girls was promoted by Upworthy, the video received over 90k shares on Upworthy and got picked by Buzzfeed and other media houses totalling to over 1.5 million shares on Youtube.