When using CrowdTangle to analyze the BuzzFeed As/Is Facebook page, we noticed that “make-up” was a consistent viral topic. The make-up related content was either the at the top of the spikes or the second highest reaching post.
Post One – August 12, 2018 “Violently blend like you’re ashamed of your face”
The first over performing content we found on BuzzFeed’s As/Is channel is a video on their Facebook page. The video is of a news anchor, Bob Herzog, who regularly posts videos of himself before he goes on air, applying makeup. As/Is reposted his video on August 17, adding in subtitles, so someone could watch the video without sound. Since August, the video has received significant engagement. The video has generated 393,551 organic views, 48 million views total, 14,00 likes, 1,700 comments, and 7,182 shares. The content went viral because it was so unexpected and comical. People appreciate content that stands out on Facebook Newsfeed. On Facebook Newsfeed, so much content is irrelevant and uninteresting. This post successfully interrupted Facebook Newsfeed, driving shares and conversation. The title was click bait, engaging and stands out on Facebook Newsfeed: “OMG, This News Anchor Putting On Makeup is the Funniest Thing I’ve Seen In A Long Time.” The video is only a total of two minutes and twenty seconds. However, someone could watch this video for 15 seconds and get the general idea because of the subtitles. As/Is’s Facebook caption for the video is click bait for people aimlessly scrolling on Newsfeed. The caption was one of the most unique funny lines from the whole video: “Violently blend like you’re ashamed of your face.” The emoji immediately engages people without them even knowing what the video is about. As/Is’s main focus is beauty and make up. This video presented As/Is’s generic content in a new and creative way. This video taps into someone’s ID (identity). People can share this content with their friends and say, “Haha that is so me putting my make up on! Why do I blend so violently?!”
Here, that giant purple spike represents this post.
Post Two – October 9, 2018 – “Gonna save you so much time and money.”
The viral post uploaded on 10/9 repackaged content that was originally created in 2017. The post involves lifestyle and hack instructions with money and time-saving tips. The post provides useful and relevant stock content that remains relevant as long as makeup is part of the daily routines of Americans. The list format of the post remains true to typical BuzzFeed content and the visuals make it easy for users to scroll through. The post generated 247 reactions, 27 comments, and 231 shares. These statistics are typical of As/If posts, but less engaging as compared to others.
Post Three – October 19, 2018 – “10 ways to get out the door faster in the morning”
We believe post three achieved its viral hits because of its “true BuzzFeed nature,” meaning that is looks and feels exactly how people expect it too. The content is relatable because everyone experiences mornings and mornings are more often that not, busy. The format of the video was well executed – it was under a minute long and was optimized for sound-off viewing. Large, well-placed subtitles made it easy to follow along and the “regular” model made every step feel like it was well within the average person’s reach. This video was also an advertisement for Olay seven-in-one anti-aging cream. The Olay brand is very strong and that recognition can drive substantial engagement on its own. What was very impressive about this post was that 1.25 million of its 1.26 million total views were on the original post, not through reposts or shares.
Post two and three were close enough together to use the same CrowdTangle analysis.
Here, post two is represented by the large blue spike and post three is represented by the large purple spike.
Over the last three months, the BuzzFeed As/Is page is 35% photo posts, 44% link posts and 21% video posts. Videos make up their lowest portion of posts yet consistently outperforms other post types. This is evident in three posts we have provided here. Post one and post three received over 100x more engagement.