My Video Went Viral. Here's Why

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My hypothesis is that the algorithm, rather than viewer preference, drives views on the site. As the algorithm shifts, various DE-vidrs 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 DE-vid 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



19 Mai 2019



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Ramata Vor 15 Stunden
Hmmm. Interesting rant. Well done. I don't click any bells for anyone. I just look up the channel that I want because I don't want bells going off all day on my phone. Plus my tastes change, with time. I watch you because you're referred to in many of the science channels I watch. I find your high quality videos wonderful. But I am not going ring a bell for anyone. Bad metric. I watch your videos all the way through, so I hope that helps you out. Being a subscriber is just not good enough for Google? That's a form of dedication and should be enough. I will try to walk away to let the sponsor run through to end. That's the best I can do. I am not Pavlov's dog.
Ten Second BuickGN
Ten Second BuickGN Vor 18 Stunden
I have a video that went viral and it was totally by luck. I recorded it on a cell phone with literally ZERO preparation!
Ace Of Spades
I know what will be next based on what i am doing to make condensed information on topics i am interested in. 1) I creating different channels (entities) for different purposes. This channel is for DE-vid education 2) I do follow recomendations of advanced experts on topics and doing PRE research to follow. I had the same thoughts as you and i have digged deeper and if you want i can have a chat with you to show 3) DE-vid CAN solve my problems by giving me a chance to sort out my playlists in order to RUBRICATIONS so i can assign my own and assign channel to those rubrics so i can observe a rubric on whats new fast 4) I do listen for educated experts and this is not what majority of crowd are doing. THis brings us to a question. Do we pursue quality of audience as a CORE of channel or we pursue the quantity. THe majority unstable and they do not know what they want and there they will be so their preferences are shifting. This tells us that DE-vid algos chaces the majority most of the time. 5) Algo will be forced to move from quality to quantity back and forth as with growing of numbers of clickbates, watching time will start to fail. So you need to rebuild fast too from quality to clickbates with the algorythm. 6) In order to do this you need INDEXES of youtubers who doing content of high quality and youtubers with clickbate. Once numbers of clickbate will rise high from low quality youtubers to the point than watching time start to fall - it is time to shift to quality. Once the opposite - you shift to clickbate 7) DE-vid will notice these and will create index or currency so we will be able to trade it and pay for content 8) For now you need to promote videos in 2 styles depend on situation with clickbate and quality / watching time index 9) Also you need to build your channel around CORE audience which is reach and stable and i twill be SPINE or PIVOT of your channel. Also you need meat. So you can provide a LOWER quality content to a majority with clickbate. Also you need to establish payments for core audience in order to support channel while meat is in charge. 10) If you want to know which types of content you can create - lower quality and higher quality and reduce the producing time and be in touch with your brand contact me )))))
Frederik Miller
doesn't this reflect the outside world and advertising. the worst junk has the best looking packaging.
Paper Origami
Gardentastic Vor 2 Tage
Thanks for the visuals! Your rant seems to be hitting the iceberg on the head! 👍🏼 good job!
Jeb Fahlgren
Jeb Fahlgren Vor 2 Tage
Let the users tweak thier own algo in settings.
Catulum Vor 2 Tage
*U N P O C O D E T O D O*
Very nice!!! Thanks a lot!!! ✨🙏🏻😇🌠
Paulo Sebresos
Paulo Sebresos Vor 2 Tage
Just to clickbait us too bad
CaptainKyler Vor 2 Tage
I've watched you since you started your channel. Good presentation. I can see the frustration in your eyes. The hardest part about DE-vid is that overnight, they can just decide to delist you...because it's their platform and you agree to their terms. I look forward to the day where content isn't subject to just one platform: where your content is truly yours and you decide where to syndicate it. Hopefully PBS calls you and just takes your content to put into seasons next to Bill Nye.
Nani S
Nani S Vor 2 Tage
Nice presentation! Just make videos with great contents, be consistant and get people to view them like and subscribe. The End.
SouthsideCIP Vor 2 Tage
Funny you mentioned the “recommended videos” with CTR because there’s a lot of times none of my recommended videos seem interesting to me at all so I have to leave and scroll through the main page again until I find something interesting. Cool video tho tbh I don’t know why I clicked It and even watched the full thing when I was wanting to watch Car Reviews 🤣
Like 189K!!
Pedro Marin
Pedro Marin Vor 2 Tage
I think this is the best analog presentation I have seen in my life, I had to pause the video to add it to the favorite list to use it as guide someday at the university. Also I care not If you use clickbait as long as you really have content, I hate not when I see a clickbait, I hate when I see a clickbait without proper content
David Andersen
David Andersen Vor 2 Tage
During all of this you didn't talk about YOU. You are the product. People click on your videos for many personal reasons, but they do so out of habit. That seems important to me.
fake hood
fake hood Vor 2 Tage
Good sir
coming soon
coming soon Vor 3 Tage
swap subscribe👉. im fast
OSKI That’s Broski
The Unboxing Experience
I'm amazed by how much effort was put into the preparation for this video
Nicolas Sobczak
Nicolas Sobczak Vor 4 Tage
Clicked the bell! Thanks for everything you do 👍
Jody The Joe
Jody The Joe Vor 4 Tage
I’ve been posting videos every day random probably not nothing good enough to go viral but I’m trying... That’s all that matters ... If y’all could check my stuff out like ,dislike Comment Or subscribe I would highly appreciate it .... de-vid.com/show-UCf9txowpK4wuohA6zQaEjAA
Chamila Wijesinghe
This video was an eye opener and was an amazing presentation. Yes, I clicked the subscribe & bell 🔔 !
The Enthusiasm Project
This is masterful. It does make me wonder though about creators who don’t work for the clicks but still find success. Like Luke Towan, who sporadically uploads 20-45 minute videos about making scale miniatures and every video immediately gets hundreds of thousands of views. It gives me hope.
Taylor Juchau
Taylor Juchau Vor 5 Tage
Very nice to see a youtuber be this transparent. Totally agreed with your thought process, easy to follow, great explanation. I don't think anyone will be upset by clickbaity titles as long as they accurately foreshadow what the video is about. I wouldn't want to click on a 10min video only to find out that it had nothing to do with what I thought it was about. Stay transparent Ve and we will stay tuned ;)
Just seeing this. I'm new to your channel, never heard of you but I LOVE how you explain things! I didn't even see the viral video but I was doing research on the DE-vid algorithm, or rather, what the current experts are saying about the algorithm and found this video. I agree that no one can truly be an expert since it's always evolving. As a creator and DE-vid coach, I try to have the best understanding about the platform. It's definitely frustrating but I'm cool with my smaller audience. It goes back to what you were saying about how the threshold of the numbers just keeps increasing with growth, 100k views isn't special anymore when you can have 200k, 500k, 1 mil.
alghuds wav
alghuds wav Vor 6 Tage
I make and sell beats check me out!!
Viral Gif By Marius
For me, the YT algorithm does not work. YT doesn't show my videos. Instead I get ads from YT to invest money in campaigns. On Instagram I managed to have followers and likes organic, for free. I think YT has the best money making algorithm, the organic one is almost 0.
Agustin Marquez
Agustin Marquez Vor 6 Tage
All the videos on my channel has more than a million views At least on my liked section
J Randall Murphy
J Randall Murphy Vor 6 Tage
This got my like. Another tip is that on my video pages, I encourage other DE-vidrs to comment and post links back to their own videos so that we network. It's as easy as cut and paste, but it is also important to be discreet and not just spam everyone. Only do it for relevant content and always say something nice or at least constructive. Like I could insert a link back to mine here as an example, but mine are music videos. They aren't really relevant to this particular content. So I felt it better not to post a link here. But even so, if someone likes this comment, maybe they'll click my avatar and visit my channel. So the thing to do is to be positive and make friends, which brings me to the last point for this comment. Derek comes across as a really likeable guy who is easy to relate to. He goes on about algorithms, thumbnails, and click throughs, but the reason I watched it all the way through is that he as a person kept my interest whereas I didn't bother finishing a number of other similar videos. So if you are going to be the star in your own video, make your viewer feel like you are relating to them in a positive way rather than simply delivering information. Derek does this expertly.
Adi chalke
Adi chalke Vor 6 Tage
i ringed the bell . this is my first . I am on YT from the start
fairz animations
fairz animations Vor 6 Tage
it went viral because you have big sub count
Bourbon and a Baby
Excellent and informative presentation, thank you!
Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee Vor 6 Tage
Yes you should ask...tell people that watch your videos to be interested in "Subscribing" and to "Click the bell to get notifications", and to encourage them to share your videos. And to tell others about how great your channel, and your presentation of ALL the topics and subject matter, is. btw great INFORMATIVE..."rant"!
Tommy Lee
Tommy Lee Vor 6 Tage
I think you are going to have to find a way to map a wave of what is popular enough to initial "Clicks" and those "Clicks" by us diehard subscribers and find where the confluence of what metrics overlap.
Charlie Baby
Charlie Baby Vor 7 Tage
i did my bell. I've seen only one video of yours suggested to me since.
Unidorsal Icosahedron
Anybody else getting HEAPS of meme compilations and reddit crawlers in your recommended? Also, isn't the audience getting pulled by the algorithm? Anyway, my thinking is that engagement is a dubious thing to optimize for. I mean, isn't the point for us viewers to get satisfied? But if we're satisfied, we're not engaged. So we're kept disappointed, like crack addicts looking for the next fix. Why wouldn't the optimal solution be, for Veritasium to have provided all the edutainment he would ever want to provide, and maintain the livelihood he needs, and for viewers to receive the edutainment they want, and for everyone to get on with their lives?
just clicked the bell
Michael Weaver
Michael Weaver Vor 8 Tage
Clickbait is great as long as it's ethical clickbait (ie, it has a catchy image/title and actually covers what it suggests). I hate nothing more than thumbnails that depict something that's not even mentioned or portrayed in the actual video. I never return to channels that do that.
Chayne Team
Chayne Team Vor 8 Tage
The biggest problem is the fact that men want only two things whether they are being honest with themselves or simply lying to themselves: Money & Hot chicks with rocking tits and great pussy. 99.99999999999999% of videos clicked by the average guy on DE-vid don't show how to get either of these things. Soon, not only will the DE-vidrs get burned out, but so will the viewers.. at least the male ones.
Chayne Team
Chayne Team Vor 8 Tage
Think of the algorithm like the Snitch in Quidditch for you Harry Potter fans who are bad spellers or for you gang impersonators shaking in your drawers when the cops ask you where your 'buddies' stashed the heroine.
My videos.
My videos. Vor 8 Tage
What I think is most of my subscriber didn't click on the notification bell is what. I have deleted all my videos and started over repeatedly on you tube. Some of my videos were around an hour long but I don't do that anymore. That was a big waste of time. Now I try to make them more than 3 minutes long which can be difficult sometimes but not crazy long. I subscribed and clicked on the notification bell because I plan on using your channel to get me where I need to be on You Tube. I have 3 channels and I'm not messing around I mean business. So lead the way buddy.
Michael Weaver
Michael Weaver Vor 7 Tage
The eclipse image is a stock photo from Pixabay. I wish I could afford a camera good enough to capture such beauty.
My videos.
My videos. Vor 7 Tage
@Michael Weaver Did you take that photo of the diamond ring effect during an eclipse thats on your channel art? Thats nice! If you took the picture I want to congratulate you. Thats wonderful. And I'm not just saying that because I want you to subscribe. Thats great. I wanted to take a photo like that but couldn't. There are some horrible channels that get others to subscribe to them so they will subscribe to you and those are the ones that I had to turn the notification bell off from. They will make you wish you never tried to help them. Some of them will upload more than once a day and when small channels could go Mobile live they tried several times a day. So basically there are channels in You Tube land with a lot of subscribers that have some horrible content now because they did the whole you help me I'll will help you method and they have the potential to drive a person crazy! And I'm an easy going person that tries to get along with most people. I can only imagine what other types of people think about it that aren't so easy going. Those types of people must come unglued. Ha ha ha!
Michael Weaver
Michael Weaver Vor 8 Tage
I'm sure most DE-vidrs (including myself) don't click the bell because it's annoying getting notified every 30 seconds because one of the channels you sub to posted a new video. Personally, I turn off all notifications, because I want to do it on my time, not theirs.
Nathan Anderson
Nathan Anderson Vor 8 Tage
I watched a whole video!! Good job !!
Nathan Anderson
Nathan Anderson Vor 8 Tage
I recognize you!! I watched your worlds lightest solid vid which was SUPER cool
Darren of Photos
Darren of Photos Vor 9 Tage
I often don't comment because I doubt the author will ever see it. For example at this moment there are 26,143 comments. My twenty cents on this topic though is that for me, I tend to watch what I am interested in, and I seek out more of that (obvio) and I go to content creators who tend to stay in a nice vertical column related to my interest. If they are too unfocused with their content, then I don't get value. I am a science nerd, so I get value from a channel like yours, but my thought is that perhaps another way a creator can influence people coming back to their content is to get narrower and more vertical with what they offer. A parrot person probably only cares about parrots. Anything that strays from parrots will not interest them and a channel that isn't a guaranteed parrot channel won't be as worth their visit as a nothing but parrots channel. So my thought is that you can not only experiment with what thumbnail and title gathers attention, but experiment with more channels where each is has a narrower and more vertical offering. So a physics related channel that explains stuff. Vs a general science interest channel which end up more like New Scientist. etcetera. Just my thought on the topic. It does trouble me that the gatekeepers of quality are pretty much gone. My observation is that people are shown more of what they want to see which leads to people getting more extreme in their views and less balanced. Thus we end up with odd politicians in power, and we end up with movies where they all tend to want to push a specific ideology. Almost a flavour of the month. I think this is because the movie people are just people like the rest of us and they too are influenced by the algorithms that govern what they are exposed to. Cheers.
al ex
al ex Vor 8 Tage
Darren of Photos haahahaahhahah loooooool lmoa
Kent Michael Galang
youtube won't let me be belled to pewdiepie :(
David Henson
David Henson Vor 9 Tage
I've always loved you, but you really won me over bigtime when you used the traditional British pronunciation of lever.
Kent Michael Galang
"the audience is the algorithm" is only true if the recommendation system doesn't exist
Kent Michael Galang
this flipchart presentation is better than if it was a powerpoint
Kent Michael Galang
this vid probably went viral too lol
Payton Larson
Payton Larson Vor 9 Tage
Love it
Franck Brusset
Franck Brusset Vor 9 Tage
To be honest, I didn't know your channel then, that black balls in a reservoir title and thumbnail felt so clickbaity, that I didn't wanna click and the video was so endlessly suggested, that I might have asked DE-vid to never show me anything about the channel again. So you might want to "seriously ease up on the bedazzling." :D DE-vid suggested me this video though. And I liked it and subscribed.
Jeffrey Brassard
Jeffrey Brassard Vor 10 Tage
Your make great quality videos I am interested in learning more.
Guido Barth
Guido Barth Vor 10 Tage
Sorry but the "Shade Ball" Video lead me to you so I guess CTR is working. And from there I started watching your other productions and became subscriber. I am very pleased with the format and the style. So I would say from my end I am happy with the results of the YT-Algorithm.
Justin Vice
Justin Vice Vor 10 Tage
"Leaver" he must be Canadian!
D.B. Vor 10 Tage
The algorithm in your example is based on honesty (I.e. it IS doing what you say). However, DE-vid has an incentive based on ad revenues... and that’ll definitely affect the algorithm, which is a big part of why some stuff trends and 99% is just hovering in oblivion.
FurNaxx Vor 10 Tage
Click baity titles are fine if the video isn't click bait
Mwabroz Studio
Mwabroz Studio Vor 10 Tage
“And the rich got richer and the small channels stayed small” oh my my my 😀
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