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 ID-visionrs 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 ID-vision 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

Unduh video



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

    Adityaa raviAdityaa ravi47 menit yang lalu
  • Well said. Just use whatever you can

    grndragon7777777grndragon777777756 menit yang lalu
  • 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!!

    Patrick AllenPatrick AllenJam Yang lalu
  • 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 ID-vision.

    Tech PlanetTech PlanetJam Yang lalu
  • 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

    SouleaterblazeSouleaterblaze2 jam yang lalu
  • you convinced me!!

    Douglas SantosDouglas Santos2 jam yang lalu
  • 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. 👌👍

    What Would Happen?What Would Happen?3 jam yang lalu
  • Or, you know, once in a while go to the channel page to see if there is anything new and good.

    zapfanzapfanzapfanzapfan3 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    Philip SmithPhilip Smith4 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    Leonaяdo DiCapяioLeonaяdo DiCapяio4 jam yang lalu
  • 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!

    Dapper DonDapper Don4 jam yang lalu
  • This all goes back to game theory.

    ICameToCommentThemAllICameToCommentThemAll6 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    Wilson VriezeWilson Vrieze7 jam yang lalu
  • ID-vision LISTEN: I Recommend THIS video. -> Lets help the A.I. working the algorithm, it may remember us later when it conquers the world.

    Argamis (SilverComet)Argamis (SilverComet)8 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    Destiny FanDestiny Fan8 jam yang lalu
  • Same thing as market manipulation.

    Destiny FanDestiny Fan8 jam yang lalu
  • They are pulling up the draw bridge.

    Destiny FanDestiny Fan8 jam yang lalu
  • 1. Find flaw in algorithm (Spiderman & Elsa) 2. Exploit the flaw 3. Once they clamp down on it find another flaw 4. Profit?

    Destiny FanDestiny Fan8 jam yang lalu
  • I the past it was all about merit, now it's more like whatever tuber gets white-listed by Suzanne Wojciki

    Destiny FanDestiny Fan8 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    Jo4nP4l4uJo4nP4l4u9 jam yang lalu
  • 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.

    veloc1tyTVveloc1tyTV9 jam yang lalu
  • 1Sub for 2Subs❤💙 Amazingly Fast🙏💯🔥 I pray for success for EVERYONE

    OhanaOceanaOhanaOceana10 jam yang lalu
  • Makes a video on why his video went viral; it goes viral too.

    maskofmaskof10 jam yang lalu
  • First, this video is brilliant; it's a terrific reminder why your channel is so fantastic. Second, I want to encourage you not to think that asking your viewers to subscribe or ring the bell is "needy" because it really isn't. I've been watching your videos for years and I didn't subscribe until today. I hadn't subscribed not because I didn't like you or the content, but because a lot of everyday ID-vision consumers don't subscribe, and they certainly don't ring bells. My watch history and recommended content is almost exactly what I watch, and I've never felt it was inappropriate for my taste or interest. ID-vision knows I'm interested in 3 very simple things: Tech reviews, Vintage Restoration videos, and Science/Math videos, and that's pretty much all I see on my recommended page. Asking people to subscribe is akin to projecting a "hire me now" mentality in an interview; you're selling yourself, and you want the hiring manager to agree that you're worth it. Humility is good, no question; but humility coupled with a reasonable understanding of one's worth is even better. Be humble, but know you're worth it, and don't be shy to ask for your worth, or shoot even higher. That's how you'll grow. One of my all time favorite ID-visionrs is Dave2D...That man is humble, kind, thoughtful, funny, and informative; he has a cute catchphrase at the end of every video that goes something like this: *"Thanks for watching this video, thumbs if you liked it, subs if you loved it. See you all next time."* ... Not at all pushy or needy. Every time I hear it, I remember to click like and I move on. It works and it's incredibly professional. I really hope you see this comment, Derek. You're brilliant. You have a new long-time-watcher-turned-subscriber in me, and I also rang the bell :) See you soon!

    MartinMartin10 jam yang lalu
  • Just don't ever lie in your thumnails and titles

    I am curiousI am curious11 jam yang lalu
  • Replace views with capitalism.

    MebibyteMebibyte11 jam yang lalu
  • I would like more videos about snails

    mdr48371mdr4837111 jam yang lalu
  • exactly!! min 20 very true!! the road of hell was paved with good intentions! what we want is not always the best thing for us! this is the problem with so much freedom it will end up in chaos and anarchy. But still ID-vision is the best platform we have today. You can find so many different things here about anything...

    NatashaNatasha12 jam yang lalu
  • I think he thought that this would go viral to......

    Reed KuzelReed Kuzel12 jam yang lalu
  • I guess people should change. I have my subscribed channels and everyday look what was posted and those who I like most put in the watch later list. That way its not easy to be in this rabbit hole of ID-vision

    Vinicius CostaVinicius Costa12 jam yang lalu
  • Thanks for saying your channel name in this video because I've been pronouncing it like veritaserum from Harry Potter.

    potterholicpotterholic12 jam yang lalu
  • Clickbaits are bad if they are misleading and placed on low-quality content. Do the best to defend your work!

    darkaster134darkaster13412 jam yang lalu
  • Does no one know that the subscription feed exists still?

    AkașșșAkașșș13 jam yang lalu
  • i never understood this subscriptions dont show videos from creator thing. Theres a subribribtion tab and i see all my subbed to youtubers on there the home page changed for sure but who the hell browses that

    M3t41-B4N4N4M3t41-B4N4N413 jam yang lalu
  • But i scroll through my sub box every day until I've seen all the videos or decided not watch them. Yeah i'll watch new stuff from the homepage but i don't need ID-vision to recommend me anything from people i'm already subscribed too. I click the bell for channels i want to watch straight away ahead of everything else, either as soon as it comes out or the first videos i watch when i turn my computer on.

    Elliott huttonElliott hutton14 jam yang lalu
  • Alternate title: man humble brags for 20 mins

    MatchaMatcha14 jam yang lalu
  • As soon as I started noticing this disconnect effect, I just started bookmarking channels and checking if they have new content manually.

    Marie Isabel VermelhoMarie Isabel Vermelho14 jam yang lalu
  • the funniest thing is that that video is being recommended to me on this page at this moment

    Bloxer GamingBloxer Gaming15 jam yang lalu
  • regarding suggestions on improvement: I don't know about you guys but I often have the same videos shown in my suggestions for days and days and days. Videos that I am not at all interested in. The Suggested list should be way more dynamic so that any video that was not clicked by the particular user after being displayed twice, is buried, allowing for other videos to get a shot.

    EssahEssah15 jam yang lalu
  • I want to be able to customize the ten recommended slots. I would make 2 slots be an anti-recommendation, would make things more interesting.

    finnepowerfinnepower16 jam yang lalu
  • I can't fully imagine the nightmare it is to not use the Subscriptions tab on ID-vision. This video gave me a glimpse and I pity all users who are not used to that. Indeed I use the Recommended section, when I run through all my subscription videos. But to have only the wild jungle that is the Recommended section as platform seems like a nightmare.

    LanguorLanguor16 jam yang lalu
  • Wouldn't youtube want shorter videos so they can push another ad at the beginning of the video and make more money, In my watching of ID-vision not many videos have ads in the middle somewhere so shorter means more ads

    Cory CunninghamCory Cunningham17 jam yang lalu
  • I bookmark all my subscriptions and categorise them in folders, a bit OCD and bit of a reminder of who I watch and want to catch up on. (youtube please build this in)

    Jay -Jay -18 jam yang lalu
  • Am I the only one that thinks he looks a lot like Ben Affleck hahaha

    AesirWolfAesirWolf18 jam yang lalu
  • Thanks for this video! I've learned a lot.

    Shell-MartijnShell-Martijn18 jam yang lalu
  • I only watch my subscriptions feed, and I ukfing hate clickbaits

    you touyou tou19 jam yang lalu
  • Bell activated. Great video. I am just starting my ID-vision Channel and didn't even knwo about the upcoming chanbe with CTR. Fun Fact: the video was not presented to me by youtube. I saw it on your twitter. ;) Have a great day and don't ever burn out. Your videos are great.

    What about it!?What about it!?19 jam yang lalu
  • Now that you made me aware of it, I can say that I seldom see new vids from subscriptions. And the comparison to journalism is spot on, it's all about clicks and sensational headlines. It's sad that its come to this.

    GeezRGeezR19 jam yang lalu
  • And of course if I see this video I watched that one

    RealshiRealshi21 jam yang lalu
  • I'm Loving the Celestron Mount the background! had no clue Derek did astrophotography!

    Ahmad HasanAhmad Hasan21 jam yang lalu
  • Great video very interesting.

  • This theory and the advices derived from it sound very similar to the discussions we had about the Google Search algorithm and how to attrackt clicks for your snippet in the SERPs. Because Search is leading in Google business, being always some few years ahead of other platforms like ID-vision, you might want to have a look at the current state of SEO discussions to get a climpse of what the next changes for ID-vision algorithm might be - when it comes particular to optimizing, manipulating and over-doing thumbnails and titles. This way you can become a ID-vision expert - because the future platform changes become forseeable.

    Nico SteinerNico Steiner22 jam yang lalu
  • Decent telescope in the back, check out the views I get with mine, they're better than you may think.

    moon missionmoon mission22 jam yang lalu
  • Is the subscriptions tab not working for some people? Cuz mine seems to be working just fine. Why is the bell needed?

    Omni nullaOmni nulla22 jam yang lalu
  • An ABSOLUTELY EXCELLENT VIDEO, THANK YOU! I'm getting ready to launch my own channel, so I have watched this twice all ready and I will watch it a couple more times, THANK YOU, EXCELLENT!!!

    littleflower1826littleflower182623 jam yang lalu
  • Now that picture at 7:36 reminds me of the situation, when some former boxer drew straight line through an observation and declared we are in an expanding universe. ;)

    Electric ManiacElectric Maniac23 jam yang lalu
  • double standard on banning from trending channels that may swear/innapropriate, but public media and music doing the same thing, aokey.

    Khajiit HadwaresKhajiit Hadwares23 jam yang lalu
  • low views = low quality, unless u are 5min crafts

    Cade C-OpsCade C-OpsHari Yang lalu
  • Welcome to the youtuber class. Please take a seat.

    Random DudeRandom DudeHari Yang lalu
  • FYI, my browser bookmark for ID-vision points to so that I mostly bypass the ID-vision algorithm and I only get the latest videos from the channels that I'm subscribed to. I find that I enjoy that experience a lot better because ID-vision is really bad at guessing what I want to watch. If I watch one video about some random topic, ID-vision will inundate its home page with videos on that topic at the expense of the things I am normally interested in. Click on a video about toasters .... ID-vision decides that I just became a toaster collector. It's crazy.

    Daniel CarreraDaniel CarreraHari Yang lalu
  • 4:53 dramarama tati

    itspeiyee hereitspeiyee hereHari Yang lalu
  • I am fairly oblivious to what happens behind the screen when it comes to ID-vision content, but I think you should be careful with clickbait as an educational channel. I think the general audience for this type of content would scoff at clickbait and is less likely to click it to begin with, just for looking like clickbait. It may also harm your credibility depending on how deceiving your clickbait is. Again, I am far from an expert on this subject and a quick look at statistics can probably instantly prove or disprove my argument. That's my specific response to clickbait though, I just don't know howmany people here are like me.

    S.S.Hari Yang lalu
  • Let me tell you the secret *His Every video goes viral*

    M_is playzingM_is playzingHari Yang lalu

    TOVITOTOVITOHari Yang lalu
  • lol it's literally the first video on the sidebar

    Nathan McLaughlinNathan McLaughlinHari Yang lalu
  • I have never "rang the bell" on any of the channels that I have subscribe to and I have never ran into the situation of not seeing new videos appearing in my subscription feed. Am I missing something? Edit: I still don't understand click through ratio

    AuraKnightStarAuraKnightStarHari Yang lalu
  • one of my favorites ID-visionrs

    JO. SanJO. SanHari Yang lalu
  • "Oh brave new world, with such people in it!"

    Jorge JimenezJorge JimenezHari Yang lalu
  • Great video

    Saadain WarisSaadain WarisHari Yang lalu
  • I am baffled by this video (which is probably a good thing). I must be using ID-vision "wrong" (that is, not the way it's "meant" to be used). Subscriptions are 90% of what I watch. I've been watching for 10 years, and at some point during that time they introduced this bell thingey (before that I think I was always notified of subscribed-channel uploads) and the bells were all automatically activated, and anytime I subscribed to a new channel the bell automatically activated, so I wonder what all the issue about the durned bell is. It's true that (if I'm remembering right) when I entered ID-vision my subscription page used to load and now I have to click on it, but that's a minor inconvenience. In 10 years I do not think I have EVER clicked something because it was "trending." But now about "recommended" -- that refers to the videos to the right of the screen or on the screen after a video is over, yes? Most of those are channels I already subscribe to. The others are usually closely related. Sometimes I click on those and find a channel I want to subscribe to; usually not. Sometimes I "surf" from one video to the next on a topic; sometimes I search for a certain topic but don't subscribe to any of the channels. Those videos are usually old; it may affect what videos I'm shown but it's too late to affect those channels metrics (if everything is based on the first few days after a video comes out). (Are you telling me every time I see a video listed to the right of the screen or on the screen after a video, if I DON'T click on it, that counts against it as a zero on the click rate??? They expect us to click on everything on every screen or it's a "failure" for the video displayed????) My point being, if I have one, where are these videos appearing that need clickbaity titles or enticing thumbnails? Why do people need to be attracted to them? How is everyone else using ID-vision? I come to it PRIMARILY to see what my subscriptions have uploaded today, SECONDARILY to view videos on a given topic, and ZERO to see what's currently "hot." I seem to be using ID-vision "wrong." Oh, and kudos for the oldest school old school presentation ever. This was from before overhead projectors were invented. That must have been a LOT of work. Well done. (And in case anyone wonders why I'm so late, I fell behind and am catching up -- which again shows, to me, the foolishness of fixating on immediate results. This stuff is up here forever.)

    George Michael SherryGeorge Michael SherryHari Yang lalu
  • Love this video keep it up!

    Luke BosworthLuke BosworthHari Yang lalu
  • Nice video

    ECHO李昶俊ECHO李昶俊Hari Yang lalu
  • you're the first channel i've ever clicked on the bell, great great video!

    MVJESTYMVJESTYHari Yang lalu
  • go for it Veritasium, you need to adapt to survive

    firas rouissifiras rouissiHari Yang lalu
  • Also more people need to check the subscriptions tab

    Just WyattJust WyattHari Yang lalu
  • I think youtubes whole site could be redesigned, something that allows youtubes audience to navigate within its space more freely, the algorithms can often make me feel trapped in content because I like to watch a variety of unrelated topics.

    Olivia BoulesOlivia BoulesHari Yang lalu
  • Amazing video

    junkapassionjunkapassionHari Yang lalu
  • I’ve talked to a friend who I hadn’t seen in years, and discovered that ID-vision has basically turned us into the same person with the same interests, by recommending the same videos to us So even if we don’t see each other for months at a time, don’t talk to each other, don’t recommend videos that we enjoyed, the other has seen it anyway. Topics that have nothing to do with each other, from Mario 64 speedruns to video essays on the importance of animated media to a man trying to swim in a pool of shade balls. Whatever experiment that ID-vision is running is working, and I believe they have figured out how to pack me into a little box to turn me into a mouse in a maze. It’s why every time I’m in a comment section of a video that suddenly got five million views in the last two days, even though it was released seven years ago, I see the same other little boxes saying “Why has ID-vision recommended this today?” It’s an uncomfortable place to be in, to know that you’ve been reduced to a bot that ID-vision can send anywhere to promote a video that they’re sure aligns with your values. That I’ll never see a video recommended to me of someone disagreeing with me. But I guess that’s my role in this giant machine.

    River OtterRiver OtterHari Yang lalu
  • Veritasium. Numberphile. AsapScience. All three I follow. ME: GOOGLE HAS BEEN STALKING MEEEEE! 😱😰 *mystery solved*

    Cha MirandaCha MirandaHari Yang lalu
  • Could it be you push the globe earth? You have a telescope behind you implying outer space is real? You make senseless videos that do NOTHING to advance a person's consciousness?

    Authentic IntentAuthentic IntentHari Yang lalu
  • I got hooked yesterday and have been flying through all of these videos. Take my sub!

    SpearmanSpearmanHari Yang lalu
  • Its the same like competing in a corporate environment for a better position, you can start like everyone else at the very bottom, learn every single detail about your job, but unless you can make an impression, show that you are responsible and knowledgeable, you won't get hired, while the guy who only talks BS and can't even spell his job title without making a spelling mistake, spends most of the days chatting and picking his nose, will be able to BS his way up the ladder.

    PastLightPastLightHari Yang lalu
  • Even the title of this video is click bate

    adolfo riosadolfo riosHari Yang lalu
  • We should of trusted blue shirt kid....

    Mrplayers 321Mrplayers 321Hari Yang lalu
  • ID-vision just should ask themselves: What do we want on our platform?. Form the algorithm through that. Also make a "new" tab.

    The Happy FaceThe Happy FaceHari Yang lalu
  • First of all, Excellent work on the presentation, I can only imagine the work behind it. Secondly, in regard to clickbait maneuvers, I normally hate them and usually I have nothing to watch on youtube because of the terrible content presented to me most of the time. The thumbnail works kinda in reverse for me. Thirdly, I think there could be some suggestions based on whatever god forsaken method ID-vision thought of and some based of a more random and loose method likened ONLY to relevance rather then to statistics. I got this Idea from a rated R site and honestly they have a better algorithm to give you access to half related content but not something different altogether so that you would enjoy more time there and more content which is less viewd/new will float to the surface.

    SpringSpringHari Yang lalu
  • I felt worthless by watching this...which i should....after all ....i am just +1...that's^^.

    Crimson KhanCrimson KhanHari Yang lalu
  • Don't know why ID-visionr complain about burnout like it doesn't happen with artist either.

    AngelusAngelusHari Yang lalu
  • This just reinforces my personal distaste for modern entertainment as a whole. Facebook, Twitter, ID-vision, they’re all mostly the same creature: an engine for making money via ads by appealing to the most basic, irrational human nature. By default we are pretty simple, and our sophisticated understanding of ourselves has allowed us to very easily exploit that simplicity to make people mindlessly happy. The real issue, in my mind, is that your average person just wants to “unwind” and tune out, which leads to the primal, lazy side of the brain getting first dibs on how to spend free time. And we’ve known for many decades that that primal brain wants sensationalism, novelty, and everything that “clickbait” represents. It was only a matter of time before it became easy enough to automate the process and widely distribute it, thereby allowing it to reach to the profound level it is at now. A sad situation, but as Derek implies, an inevitable one. Thank you for your quality content and frank discussion. I’ll be tuning into to more of your videos as time permits.

    Robert DavisRobert DavisHari Yang lalu
  • Actually i came here because of the thubmnail

    Aland MuhamadAland MuhamadHari Yang lalu
  • boobies

    Casper GCasper GHari Yang lalu
  • You really broke down how youtube works and explained it very well ! Thank you ! I'm happy I've watched it

    Jean-Mouloud EristoffJean-Mouloud EristoffHari Yang lalu
  • Ok..who is mister beets?

    SҠЭLЧ ҬЭИSҠЭLЧ ҬЭИHari Yang lalu
  • I think Captn Disillusion needs more views..

    SҠЭLЧ ҬЭИSҠЭLЧ ҬЭИHari Yang lalu
  • Maybe I'm stupid, but as a viewer, the more clickbaity and/or sensational the title and thumbnail, the less I'll want to initially click on it, and I'll end up giving it less watch time. The more a youtuber does stuff like that, I respect them less, and I don't want to watch their videos as much. I've stopped watching multiple different channels because they kept using annoying titles and thumbnails. It just makes you look stupid. Imo, your title and thumbnail should accurately portray what the content is. That way the people who click through will genuinely want to watch it, and they're more likely to want to watch your backlog. I get that the algorithm is a powerful force, but viewers don't give a crap about the algorithm. We care about genuinely good content, titles and thumbnails.

    SuperJarrenSuperJarrenHari Yang lalu
  • "Millions of black balls is going to be the thing that rises to the surface". I like the double entendre.

    Mark DMark DHari Yang lalu
  • In my opinion, all top videos with max satisfaction are the ones a bit sad, and makes me think and rethink for a while. This is very personal to me. But I can feel this subtle but lingering sadness in this video, which makes me think again and again

    royakumaroyakumaHari Yang lalu
  • I wish there were more varied ways of finding new videos on ID-vision. Like a tab for channels with low levels of viewers where you can find new youtubers or some other similar tools.

    AngelOfGamingAngelOfGamingHari Yang lalu
  • What about VSauce video with no title and thumbnail

    Kamal KumarKamal KumarHari Yang lalu
  • look at crazy russian hacker he has 11 mil subscribers an not even a 1 mill views by video

    Amel BAmel BHari Yang lalu
My Video Went Viral. Here's Why