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The Power of Social Media and Viral Content: How an Egg Captured the World

We are halfway through the first month of 2019 and a record has already fallen (and it’s a biggy). The most liked post on Instagram has now been broken only 14 days into 2019. The previous record holder Kylie Jenner is currently licking her wounds after being beaten by an egg. Yes you did read that correctly, an egg. If you haven’t seen this post or you have not got a clue what I am speaking about, then I demand that you go the post right now and like this post (Click here).

This post was created on the 4th of January 2019 and set out with a very simple yet sizeable task. The caption simply stated ‘Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18 million)! We got this ????’. The post now currently sits with 31.4 million likes, 1.2 million comments and the title of the most liked post on social media (Sorry Kylie). Furthermore, the account has 3.6 million followers that have been generated in the space of 10 days since its first post. These eggcellent numbers once again shed light on the weird and wonderful world that is social media and the internet.

Now you are probably wondering, why has the internet just decided to make an egg not only the most liked post on Instagram but what is fast become the most spoken about thing on the internet. For us to understand this, we need to understand the mysterious world of viral content and how it plays its part in this case. I have written about viral content before where you can find full details here but for the sake of this exercise we will just cover the basics. In order for viral content to work, it needs to have the following components:

  1. Shareable content
  2. Being Relevant and Reactive
  3. Be Positive, keep things Simple
  4. Finally, Luck!

For our egg friend, we can see that all the components for viral content are there. The content is easily shareable (people can share via DMs and on their stories), they have been relevant and reactive (sharing its success on its story and engaging with users), keeping things simple (they had a simple goal, not hateful or controversial and with a simple mechanic) and it was extremely lucky!

Viral content has occurred before social media was invented however social media has now made viral content occurs far more often and far quicker than in the past. There is no better platform in the world then social media to share information and reach a large audience. This of all things showcases the power of social media and the network that has been built since its inception. By using it effectively, you can see the results that can be achieved and something as simple as an egg can become the most liked post on a platform that boasts over 800 million monthly active users.

Now in the writing of the post (an hour give or take), the post has increased a further 1 million likes and it shows no signs of slowing down just yet. People will want to analyse why this has happened and in the future someone will be able to decipher the elements of what made it a success. But for now, let us just step back and laugh at the fact one of the most successful celebrities of the modern era with a global business empire has just been usurped by an egg, 2019 is going to be a good year!

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