My Video Went Viral. Here's Why

By: Veritasium

145694   3119   1872190

Uploaded on 05/19/2019

My hypothesis is that the algorithm, rather than viewer preference, drives views on the site. As the algorithm shifts, various YouTubers 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 YouTube 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 (3):

By rasz    2019-05-24

Let me Godwin it up

>We're optimizing for click through rate.

and so was Hitler in ~1923. Optimizing something that affects how other people act (same happens on YT Veritasium:My Video Went Viral leads to bad outcomes (radicalization, race to the bottom, catering to lowest denominator etc).

Original Thread

By v8engine    2019-05-24

Veritasium very recently spoke about algorithm optimizing for click through rate in the context of the bad.

It seems okay in this case though.

Original Thread

By eganist    2019-06-16

This seems like it takes some notes from Veritasium's theory on YouTube's recommendation algorithm which he posted after his initial reservoir shade balls video went viral. (edited for clarity) for his theory.

Original Thread

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