The Science Behind Upworthy's Miraculous Virality [Slide Deck]

Among digital media startups, Upworthy is a company that seems to be run by miracle workers.

While Buzzfeed and Business Insider took years to build their readerships, Upworthy was able to amass a comparable audience numbering in the millions, in a period of a few months.

Most people associate the site’s growth with headlines like “Imagine Trying To Pay Bills On Little Money. Then Imagine They Want To Take Half Of That Away.” They aren’t very informative, but they create a “curiosity gap” that makes you want to click.

According to Upworthy, the headlines are only a small part of their success. The rest has to do with finding “sharable” content and then finding the language that strikes an emotional chord in the greatest number of people.

They’ve gotten that last bit down to a science, as seen in the following slide deck. While some of the numbers are a bit out of date, the lessons within are still incredibly useful for anyone making content meant to go viral.

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