What it takes to make a video go viral

To go viral, a video has to inspire participation from the viewer.

SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — Every day, around the world, millions of videos are being uploaded into cyberspace.

Some are serious, some are silly, and some have viewers scratching their heads. But only a few will be seen by millions of people.

Over 1,000 hours of video a minute are shared through social networks. What makes one video go viral? And another a dud?

“Usually they are things that are very unexpected and unique, something we have not seen before,” YouTube Head of Culture and Trends Kevin Allocca said.

Allocca, who is based in New York, oversees the trending tab on YouTube that features the videos getting the most buzz.

The videos that lands in this sacred section are chosen by software and an algorithm identifies the uploads getting the most views, buzz, and shares.

Kevin says to go viral, a video has to inspire participation from the viewer.

“Whether that is making your own version of it, or responding in some way, or having something to say about it,” Allocca said.

And he says the more attempts at viral, the better.

“The best way to have a hit video is to create a lot of videos and build an audience, and then when you do have something that can really catch on, you already have a fan base that can immediately share it,” Allocca said.

Karen is the woman behind the donut selfie video and the fad it sparked after going viral.

And she is also behind the “Girl Learns to Dance in a Year” time lapse video, along with a dozen other premeditated virals that have earned her over 100 million views.

She says step one is coming up with an idea that evokes certain emotions.

“Awe, anger, and amusement are emotions that spread well, whereas sadness and contentment don’t spread that well,” Karen X said.

Karen says it’s best to keep a video short, title it like a news headline, and keep in mind the first few seconds are critical.

“You really want to get an eye-catching first visual,” Karen said.

Since most people are watching on small screens these days, she says optimize for that by filming your subjects close up, and if you use titles, make the text fill the screen.

“If there is one thing I have learned from doing all of this, it is that you can’t predict it,” Karen said. “Even when I do everything right, it doesn’t always go viral.”

Karen says there is still that mysterious ingredient that no one yet fully understands.

“There is a bunch of little things you can do to increase the chance of it going viral and all those things will help but none of them will guarantee it.”

So, you have just as good a chance as anyone else to go viral. Put yourself out there and get that 15 minutes of internet fame.

Turning your viral video into cash is possible.