Chapter 48. Social/Viral Structure

The Internet is famous for making things “go viral” but if your site isn’t designed to create viral word-of-mouth, it won’t. In this lesson, we’ll learn how to translate emotional content into viral popularity.

Virality Is Much More Than Sharing: It’s a Feature

If you are working on a social network or an app with social features, or your site is based on user-submitted content, or if your dream is to be the next Grumpy Cat, this is for you.

The Basic Formula

Action from User A = Feedback for User B = Content for User C

For example:

  • You share a friend’s photo on Facebook. That’s your action, which gives feedback to your friend. When you share it, the rest of your friends see the photo in their feed, with a note saying you shared it.

  • You retweet something on Twitter. The original tweeter gets the feedback. Your followers see the tweet in their feed, from you.

  • You pin something on Pinterest. The original pinner gets feedback. Your followers see the pin in their feed, from you.

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And so on.

Then, even more people see it, do actions, which give feedback, and creates even more content...

Ta da! More viral than a group of toddlers with the flu.

However, Facebook doesn’t show Likes to very many people, like it does with a Share. And Twitter doesn’t show Favorites to people like a Retweet. And Pinterest doesn’t show Likes to people like a Pin.

It’s ok to have actions that ...

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