My Video Went Viral. Here's Why

My hypothesis is that the algorithm, rather than viewer preference, drives views on the site. As the algorithm shifts, various BR-channelrs 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 BR-channel 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


  1. Dániel Kovács

    Dániel Kovács

    10 horas atrás

    The funny thing is that I already rang the bell a few years ago and I still missed like 90 of your videos.

  2. Harold Westrich

    Harold Westrich

    10 horas atrás

    Thank you for letting us know what's up ! ! I had no idea this was why "CLICKBAIT" got so bad. It's so depressing to click on a video and then NOT SEE the photo that was on the thumbnail ! ! The rating system would shut those down right now!

  3. McMatthew99


    12 horas atrás

    Time to switch to DailyMotion?

  4. thefuture4


    13 horas atrás

    Literally the first video i watched that sent me on a 6 hour tailspin of watching all your content.

  5. The Sypwer

    The Sypwer

    13 horas atrás

    I almost never use homepage nor trending, subscriptions and notifications is good enough

  6. Stephen Furr

    Stephen Furr

    14 horas atrás

    So is this click-bait war the reason I purposely avoid obvious biased or sensationalized thumbnails and titles, and gravitate towards channels that present a more realistic if less edge of your seat explodey stuff look. Keep up the science educational content. You have a loyal audience that will find your videos.

  7. Nonya Damnbusiness

    Nonya Damnbusiness

    14 horas atrás

    So, what about cross posting to other platforms? Are you on Daily Motion, or Vimeo, or LBRY?

  8. PresidentialWatch


    14 horas atrás

    Well it sounds like survival so you’ve got to do what you’ve got to do. Not your fault. BR-channel is failing it’s creators.

  9. Deschutron K

    Deschutron K

    16 horas atrás

    "So what I'm actually gonna present is a kind of *theory* *of* *everything"* OK, Einstein..

  10. Ryan Harvey

    Ryan Harvey

    16 horas atrás

    I hate the algorithm. Seems like it makes more money for BR-channel, but at the expense of user experience.

  11. Alekaditez


    17 horas atrás

    how spraypaint works or how dye works

  12. Juan Ayala

    Juan Ayala

    18 horas atrás

    Dear Derek: thank you for all your great videos. They've sparked my curiosity many, many times. That being said: you are not a Kardashian, so you do not need your videos to clickbaitly hit 10 million views every time. Your audience will still be there searching for you because of the topics you dive into and the remarkably clear way you explain them. You might go viral from time to time and get tons of new subscribers, but those subscribers will be just as easily lost as they were gained. What easy comes easy goes. You have to ask yourself then: am I doing this to get rich or to make a good leaving working on what I love, shearing with people my abilities? When in doubt, always go back to your basic values and everything will become clear.

  13. Tobias Fünke

    Tobias Fünke

    20 horas atrás

    Don't use clickbaity titles and thumbnails or I will stop clicking on your content.

  14. Thijs van Gisbergen

    Thijs van Gisbergen

    21 hora atrás

    You all speak of this algorithm, but in reality it's just pumping and pumping more money into promoting your videos.

  15. basspig


    21 hora atrás

    I haven't had burnout.. I've never ignited to begin with!

  16. Caleb Bennett

    Caleb Bennett

    21 hora atrás

    Well said. Well done.

  17. frank ward

    frank ward

    21 hora atrás

    Really you have to spend your money still dont forget about buisness that helps too

  18. DasPikachu


    23 horas atrás

    *I WANT* to be able to create "subscription-groups" on youtube! What I mean is that you could create a channel folders, for gaming channels, science channels, comedy, arts & crafts, music, whatever you like. And in that corner you would be shown the newest videos of those channels I chose. ALL of them like it used to be!

    • DasPikachu


      23 horas atrás

      The only way I can think of doing this would be to create like 10 channels and subscribe only to one cathegory of channels on each... but honestly that wouldn't b a great solution! If I wanna watch gaming or comedy, I'd like to scroll through videos of according channels I subscribed to.

  19. drmnys


    Dia atrás

    BR-channel sucks. It needs more competition. Having said that I don't understand why people see BR-channel recommended videos... Just go to your sub list. All your subbed channels are there.

  20. Nadir Siddiqui

    Nadir Siddiqui

    Dia atrás

    Ringing ringing ringing that bell! I think you deserve it, thank you for your awesome videos, you're an inspiration.

  21. Velocityraptor


    Dia atrás

    Educational contends are pretty much the only things I watch on yt.

  22. Nikita Yeryomin

    Nikita Yeryomin

    Dia atrás

    My homepage is my 'subscribed' page on BR-channel. I never look at the suggested section, because all those reasons...

  23. TheOrangeCreeper


    Dia atrás

    There isn't really a reason on how people get viral. It's just completely random.

  24. xJuiCYxxJaYx


    Dia atrás

    Make a '' how to not pollute"and make THAT go viral. 🤔😒😫😫😜🤙🤙🤙🤙

  25. kikalcala


    Dia atrás

    When you showed the post it notes with googly eyes I anticipated my own future subscription to your channel...

  26. Animagus


    Dia atrás

    I wasn't subbed before, but the fact you kept my focus during a lecture makes that an easy click.

  27. Nagendra Kaushik

    Nagendra Kaushik

    Dia atrás

    Subscribe me

  28. MangoIceCreamLover


    Dia atrás

    I wish I saw you science videos first !!

  29. Gunpal Jain

    Gunpal Jain

    Dia atrás

    I am very picky about pressing like, subscribe and the bell button on every other video. I just pressed the bell button on this video after thinking about the time and effort it might have taken in creating those slides on white paper. :p I have no words for admiration of research, presentation and hard work done to create such outstanding video.

  30. Nicole Martinez

    Nicole Martinez

    Dia atrás

    Very interesting. I specifically look at my subscriptions when I log on. Do others not?

  31. Quincy Dread

    Quincy Dread

    Dia atrás

    well this just goes to show we are really heading down a slippery slope when sensationalism and clickbait is acceptable

  32. Salman Umar

    Salman Umar

    Dia atrás

    The only time i actually felt the need to press the bell icon. Well done. Well produced and educational video. Im also a small youtuber who started couple moths ago. We try to make moral lessons for children using superheroes. If anyone has time check out joker steals thors hammer on #tfskids.

  33. Whizzhup


    Dia atrás

    Oh i thought that video was Tony Stark. OMG I'M SO DUMB.

  34. Prabhash Dhama

    Prabhash Dhama

    Dia atrás

    Bruh everything will be fine don’t be sad :)



    Dia atrás

    Everyone go And comment on mr beast video that he need to make a video how to Get videos viral

  36. Sixor Kaer

    Sixor Kaer

    Dia atrás

    watch composition+read title+watch video length >>>1.IS this video important for me 2. DO i expect to have fun or feel anything from it thumbnail:toilet and a girl crying face title:Kid found out and scream there a rat in the toilet length:0:07 me:click

  37. Joel Torrens

    Joel Torrens

    Dia atrás

    Looks like your Mr Beast friend may have driven your views up a bit......coincidence?

  38. Owais Ahmed

    Owais Ahmed

    Dia atrás

    The presentation on paper board was exceptional. Click bait or not, once you land here, you're sure to watch through. Good job...

  39. 陳紅狼


    Dia atrás

    I hate the algorithm, that’s the reason I only got to “subscribe” tag most of the time.

  40. Peter Choi

    Peter Choi

    Dia atrás

    "The message is the medium." Marshall McLuhan was so right 40 years ago and still today he is right.

  41. Kate Lim

    Kate Lim

    Dia atrás

    I got bored halfway watching the shade balls vid when the vid only had single-digit million views (I did not finish). I made a mental note, avoided clicking your blackhole video suggested by YT as I remember your channel name ( your vid was not as impressive as your thumbnail). I only have this much time, I dont have time for clickbait vids, I actively avoid clickbaity channel such as Pewdiepie (used to be a sub when he was actually playing vid games). I hope you remember the passion you have starting the channel 10 yrs from now. Or maybe it's just a money making machine hence the burnout. :)

  42. Angeal Hayleyy

    Angeal Hayleyy

    Dia atrás

    Don't worry, I will always like your videos You are always so educational

  43. rhymeswithpulverine


    Dia atrás

    As a result of your title.

  44. Mark Dowse

    Mark Dowse

    Dia atrás

    So, you have to have a "great hook"? Sounds EXACTLY like the kid selling newspapers on the street corner ........

  45. Shloppie


    Dia atrás

    Bro, the Kardashians are clickbait. There is plenty of people in the world that want more clickbait.

  46. EyeTheSkies


    Dia atrás


  47. Al NaJin

    Al NaJin

    Dia atrás

    Dude, you're a genius. What a way for explaining youtube trends, If I could meet with you I would talk about this for hours. Sadly I live on the end of the world, Chile. Well, it is not but is pretty far anyway.

  48. shovas


    Dia atrás

    Lots of empathy for you guys but do you realize you’re locking yourself in to a system you don’t have any control over? My advice is to disengage from the forces telling you what to do and just organically, holistically build your audience, and on multiple platforms. Right now, you’ve enslaved yourself to a treadmill. Welcome, you’ve built your own rat race on the internet.

    • shovas


      Dia atrás

      Regarding the bell, unfortunately I think many people don’t use it because A it’s one more extra thing to do but B perhaps more importantly we all get more than enough notifications already. I don’t think that’s a sustainable solution.

    • shovas


      Dia atrás

      Real solution: Build your brand, not your algorithm hooks. I specifically look for your videos. That’s the kind of viewer you want for long term, sustainable views and growth.

  49. Jacob Burge

    Jacob Burge

    Dia atrás

    i didn't even know about the bell

  50. Tryhqrds Jr

    Tryhqrds Jr

    Dia atrás

    Can someone just sum this video up for me

    • Tech Planet

      Tech Planet

      Dia atrás

      Thumbnails, titles & quality watch-time are important. YT's alrogithm is always changing and so it's an endless objective to chase for youtubers.

  51. JLT Productions

    JLT Productions

    Dia atrás

    Very useful video....well done and keep going💪💪💪

  52. Kenny gordon

    Kenny gordon

    2 dias atrás

    Sort your homepage by subscription videos. Boom i see em all.

  53. Marko Posavec

    Marko Posavec

    2 dias atrás

    I don't like all the algorithms because they are slowly removing control from us. If youtube genuinely wants to be useful they should for example: Add the option to disable suggesting videos that were already watched and stop pretending that you didn't watch them. Every video that was watched should be marked as such, it's the main point of computers to augment persons abilities. And not to instead exploit persons inability to remember everything to corporate advantage.

  54. WeBuild4Life


    2 dias atrás

    I must be one of the anomalies. I almost only use my subscription feed to find videos to watch. I have a bout 240 subscriptions of all the content I like. That's where I get 99% of my watch time. Occasionally I will click off on to a recommended video, but normally if I didn't have anything else planned to watch,

  55. Tejas Sharma

    Tejas Sharma

    2 dias atrás

    Good Job. I just finished watching a 23 min video. Through out the video I was curious about what is coming up in next slide.

  56. Ludde Nord

    Ludde Nord

    2 dias atrás

    See you again in 6 months

  57. Milorad Menjic

    Milorad Menjic

    2 dias atrás

    Bell on youtube is icon it does not ring for start. Second how many did you clicked till now, we deserve to know that ? It is not ok to ask us to do what you did not or to do it more than you did. And last but not least imagine clicking them all, imagine all people click all bells what then ? Personally I try to turn off all notifications I can, from youtube and others, tell me how many notifications do you have daily and actually open them and look at, and then tell me that you want more, then you can go on youtube and click more, it is easy just ring the bell, that is what you are asking from people and it is not fair, why do you expect that we love notifications if you don't ?

  58. Sean Tan

    Sean Tan

    2 dias atrás

    21:04 the most subtle pun I have ever seen

  59. Akshay Gadsing

    Akshay Gadsing

    2 dias atrás

    Your videos are just lovely! Just Keep making videos on Science.❤️ And we too hope BR-channel will optimise algorithm so that people can get informative and educational videos along with burnouts and entertainment and trendy timepass videos. There's lots of appreciation to channels like Veritasium, Asapscience and many more who work for educating people with Science

  60. JL Universe

    JL Universe

    2 dias atrás

    This video is very helpful and makes 100 percent since

  61. benbmusic88


    2 dias atrás

    1000 DEGREE KNIFE!

  62. Xela Crémant

    Xela Crémant

    2 dias atrás

    Here's what I think: I think youtubers need to unionize.

  63. Sam Oleynik

    Sam Oleynik

    2 dias atrás


  64. Thamsanqa Mvayo

    Thamsanqa Mvayo

    2 dias atrás

    I know this is a very late watch and response, I've been enjoying your videos a lot. I think you can do a little click baity type as long as it's not a complete wishy-washy, keep it real. It's a science channel, those of us who seek knowledge will come. Oh and I'm ringing the bell now...

  65. Lara Mae

    Lara Mae

    2 dias atrás

    22:51 I was satisfied with that

  66. Henrik Kucsera

    Henrik Kucsera

    2 dias atrás

    You already committed to a clickbaiting -- and not just titles, topics too. why should i ring the bell on topics that will remind me of commercial tv shows???

  67. x FlushestMean93 x

    x FlushestMean93 x

    2 dias atrás

    I understand what you’re getting at, you dont want your channel to sink to the bottom of the iceberg and because you don’t want to use click bait titles and thumbnails it’s possible that it might. I’m sure you’re actually fans will click the bell so don’t worry also click bait is basically tradition on BR-channel, so don’t worry about using it as-long as your content stays at a good quality people will watch and not care about the click bait. So I’m sure you’ll be fine with click bait and without it as-long as you keep making quality videos like you have always done.

  68. David Furor Curser

    David Furor Curser

    2 dias atrás

    Because Science

  69. Alzorath


    2 dias atrás

    *(Long Post from a Creator of 7 years)* Honestly, I am fine with the current system, BUT there needs to be a tweak to the subscriber feed (and they did it a *little bit* by putting stories from subscribers at the top in some apps, and rarely putting that "videos from your subscriptions" bar) - I feel they've gone too far in one direction currently, especially when taking into account the site design (more on that later), and I really think that they need to either: A. Allow customization of your landing page (even if they make the "recommended videos" bar a locked option at top, I'm fine with that), so you can create shelves for 'my subscriptions' or 'community posts' etc. on your custom homepage, so that it reduces "number of clicks to destination" or B. Adapt the main page to include "X from your subscriptions" as a guaranteed spot in the main page. (doesn't matter if it's videos, community posts, stories, whatever, just give us a way to directly reach out to our subscribers without relying on emails or opt-in popups or other intrusive and ignored methods) - to again reduce "number of clicks to destination" ------- I said I would do "more on that later" regarding site design, and you may have noticed a point made twice: "number of clicks to destination" - this is an issue google has been having for a while now, but the shift to Studio Beta really made it hit home for me - Google's design philosophy prior to this used to be similar to "KISS" (Keep it Simple Stupid): Fewest steps possible for the desired result, with a clear path - and clean interfaces. They've kept the "clean interface" point fairly well, but they've been creeping step after step away from click-efficiency. Going from subscriptions on home, to subscriptions "behind a click" is a big change... stepping even further to subscriptions behind a click, channel behind 2 clicks, channel feed behind 3 clicks, non-trend video behind 2/4 clicks (playlist behind 4 clicks) - is a lot more than it used to be. (playlist used to be 3 clicks). The "clicks to goal" for getting informed of the actions of your subscriptions though? That is easily the one that has taken the most hits - it used to be "1 click from video" - now it's "2 clicks from video + obscured setting consideration" (which they acknowledge - is a problem - a person can click the bell, but unless their account is set to opt-in to notifications from youtube - the bell will do nothing) The reason Studio Beta made me start looking at this? The Data they refer to as "analytics deep dive" used to require anywhere from 2 to 5 less clicks - which is significant when you consider that each "click" isn't an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity for a user getting lost on the branching paths. In design you want the shortest path possible to the most desired features (note: "desired" not "used" - as the later is a direct result of design, the former is a direct result of user), and this rounds all the way back to the beginning, and in turn a reference to their intents you made towards the end of the video: "Long-Term Satisfied Watch-time" - design can aid this or blind you from it, as they are looking for what people "desire", while looking at what they "use", without taking into account the impact of their own interface. PS - Yellow Journalism successfully gathers more users for the site, not for creators. The biggest challenge for youtube will be balancing these factors, and the tools are there (they have been since almost the beginning) - a logged out user, or an un-engaged (no/minimal subs) should be engaged with the yellow journalism approach to further engage them - a logged in user should be engaged with a core content approach (focus on their subscriptions, their engagements, their decided loyalties, even without the bell). Google seems to be stuck on a weird "X or Y" approach to this, without realizing, the audience on youtube is so large and diverse, that they need to account for, at the very least, this demographic divide, in their design decisions (invested v uninvested) - a one size fits all approach can't work at a certain scale

  70. Anshul Gupta

    Anshul Gupta

    2 dias atrás

    Yes i clicked it .. i support you

  71. Akshaya R

    Akshaya R

    2 dias atrás

    Ahh... This makes me cry... We love your contents... N we will always support you... 🤗

    • Akshaya R

      Akshaya R

      Dia atrás

      @klen sal hehe... I got a alien friend called Omega. 👽

    • klen sal

      klen sal

      Dia atrás


  72. Photo Spectrum

    Photo Spectrum

    2 dias atrás

    I've been subscribed for a while, but I forgot to click the bell. Thanks for the reminder.

  73. Chuka Nwobodo

    Chuka Nwobodo

    2 dias atrás

    "...where millions of black balls on a reservoir is the thing that is going to rise to the surface." Great pun?

  74. mitzy183


    2 dias atrás

    i love how Mr Beast is so creative, and just gives away so much of his time / money purely for views. its amazing that a 20 year old has cracked the system! i also really enjoy the Ve series. you make some pretty interesting content without sounding like my 8th grade science teacher. its why i enjoy you and physics girl so much. your just purely there to teach us some cool stuff youve learned and hope we get something out of it. keep up the good work !!! (also the flip chart was amazing !)

  75. Grisile HNNW

    Grisile HNNW

    2 dias atrás

    I smacked the bell hard.

  76. The mad King

    The mad King

    2 dias atrás

    Mr.beast is an expert

  77. issaciams


    2 dias atrás

    This is trash.

  78. vanillangela


    2 dias atrás

    I can feel the frustration through your voice. That pains me :( you are one of my favorite youtubers. You are so different from other channels. And now you have to succumb to reality

  79. Adityaa ravi

    Adityaa ravi

    2 dias atrás

    90% of this video's viewers - small time youtubers looking to make a buck...

  80. grndragon7777777


    2 dias atrás

    Well said. Just use whatever you can

  81. Patrick Allen

    Patrick Allen

    2 dias atrás

    I love you videos! It's a great resource for the search of knowledge that often times hits me all the time. Keep up the great work!!

  82. Tech Planet

    Tech Planet

    2 dias atrás

    Nice video! Just make videos you enjoy doing. Not every video is going to get a huge amount of views but you could learn more about the material presented and yourself. That in itself, is why I do BR-channel.

  83. Souleaterblaze


    2 dias atrás

    the problem is alot of people don't subscribe and click the bell too. my inbox has like 300 emails because i havent had the time to weatch all my susbcribed channel uploads this is why people probably dont do that lol

  84. Douglas Santos

    Douglas Santos

    2 dias atrás

    you convinced me!!

  85. What Would Happen?

    What Would Happen?

    2 dias atrás

    I quite admire your honesty lad, I mean you don't go around hoping that your good thumbnails and titles will catch peoples eye. Honestly it's good to have lads and lass's such as yourself who have hope for the future of youtube. 👌👍

  86. zapfanzapfan


    2 dias atrás

    Or, you know, once in a while go to the channel page to see if there is anything new and good.

  87. Philip Smith

    Philip Smith

    2 dias atrás

    There is a name for the problem you're talking about. It's called capitalism. Yes, it can mobilize and coordinate economic activity and maximize certain kinds return on certain kinds investment; but it has a mind of its own. Capitalism knows no virtue other than profit. America is a nation of Willy Loman (or is that Willy Lomen) convinced that if we were just a bit more skillful, clever, or diligent we'd have a set at the big table.

  88. Leonaяdo DiCapяio

    Leonaяdo DiCapяio

    2 dias atrás

    I’ve seen the balls thumbnail a couple times. It seemed too unrealistic to me so I decided it’s a deceit and didn’t watch the video.

  89. Dapper Don

    Dapper Don

    2 dias atrás

    The most important factor on the web, be it youtube or online selling etc, is recognizing TRENDS early and acting fast! Amozon FBA for example. İf u are an early seller of a product that is trending u will make tons of money, if u jump on the bandwagon when its past the climax u will probably lose money! very similar on that point!

  90. ICameToCommentThemAll


    2 dias atrás

    This all goes back to game theory.

  91. Wilson Vrieze

    Wilson Vrieze

    2 dias atrás

    Thank you for doing this. By far the best explanation of the algorithm I've seen. also thank you for explaining some of your struggles with the algorithm without just complaining about it.

  92. Argamis (SilverComet)

    Argamis (SilverComet)

    2 dias atrás

    BR-channel LISTEN: I Recommend THIS video. -> Lets help the A.I. working the algorithm, it may remember us later when it conquers the world.

  93. Destiny Fan

    Destiny Fan

    2 dias atrás

    8:57 You just need to be a bigot. Though the common niches are already blacklisted so you need to do stuff like talk about mobile gamers being dirty casuals etc. stuff they didn't add yet.

  94. Destiny Fan

    Destiny Fan

    2 dias atrás

    Same thing as market manipulation.

  95. Destiny Fan

    Destiny Fan

    2 dias atrás

    They are pulling up the draw bridge.

  96. Destiny Fan

    Destiny Fan

    2 dias atrás

    1. Find flaw in algorithm (Spiderman & Elsa) 2. Exploit the flaw 3. Once they clamp down on it find another flaw 4. Profit?

  97. Destiny Fan

    Destiny Fan

    2 dias atrás

    I the past it was all about merit, now it's more like whatever tuber gets white-listed by Suzanne Wojciki

  98. Jo4nP4l4u


    2 dias atrás

    I think a good possible answer is that if CTR and watchtime are the main metric which leads to clickbait, a good correctional factor may be the like/dislike rate based on your number of viewers ( LDVR ). High CTR videos with low LDVR don't get to trending, high CTR videos with high LDVR get to recommended.

  99. veloc1tyTV


    3 dias atrás

    If you start using clickbait titles I'll unsubscribe. I like the idea of high quality content and therefore disabled AdBlock. But if you start low quality videos lile daily vlogs I'll not do that.

  100. OhanaOceana


    3 dias atrás

    1Sub for 2Subs❤💙 Amazingly Fast🙏💯🔥 I pray for success for EVERYONE

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