Does “Viral” Even Mean Anything These Days?

I come across news posts about something going viral on social media everyday. I click on it to see what the world is upto only to be underwhelmed and left disappointed!

You see, the world has come so far from the days when a few thousand views on a social media platform meant the video has gone viral. That’s not the case anymore though. The highest viewed videos on Youtube garner in excess of 3 billion views these days, the most-watched being 6.7 billion views.

Despite the fact that the number of internet users in India has doubled in the last 5 years, our news feeds are still subjected to mediocre-videos-deemed-viral. Who’s to blame for it then? The click hungry websites, that’s who! These websites bet on videos that they think might get viral and bring in the clicks later on when they are actually viral. This leads to every publication calling every other video a viral video and now we’re living in this reality where ‘viral’ doesn’t even mean anything.


Graph of internet users in India

From politics to movies, opinions about anything popular seems to be forced upon the general public by these “news websites!” By peddling unknown videos claiming they’ve gone viral these websites only harm their reputation. See, the funny thing about viral videos is that if a video has gone viral there’s a very good chance that you have seen it since well, It Has Gone Viral!

This Gus Johnson video comes to mind when looking at the current state of Indian news websites.


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