Everything the greatest ‘youtuber’ in history learned from virality

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Mr Beast is the eldest youtuber of history. His account, the largest on YouTube for an individual creator, has 127 million followers and many videos with 100 million views. This Wednesday was with Lex Fridman, a podcaster who does 2-3 hour interviews. I have selected some of the most interesting things that she said.

Mr Beast is only 24 years old, his videos are titled things like “Survive 100 days in a circle and win $500,000” or “I built Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory”. I have spoken of him other times. He is fascinating.

Last videos of Mr Beast, dubbed into Spanish.

In his opinions there is a deep mix of incredible knowledge of YouTube and the internet with some youthful naiveté, which he admits at times. It is not in any case the typical influencers that he has succeeded by chance, even though his videos seem bullshit. He is a successful businessman and money maker: he has created chocolate bars, hamburgers and plans to get into video games.

1. Virality is tameable. Mr Beast is the creator who has been obsessed with YouTube the longest. From his observation, he has drawn a maxim that may be useful for other industries: “It is much easier to achieve 10 million views in a video than 100,000 in 100 videos”. He means that it is more useful to put in a lot of effort in a single video than a little in a hundred. Although the Internet is a place where trying your luck with videos is free, there is still a little law about virality, which Mr Beast knows: “It is a skill that can be taught and learned.”

According to him, his brain is trained to detect virality: from the idea, the edition, the graphics, the thumbnail or the title. This way of life has literally wrecked her brain and she finds it hard to enjoy non-viral content, like a movie: “If I watch a video, without thinking my head screams at me and tells me what I should change. It’s almost like my brain is like a neural network. If you consume enough viral videos and enough good content, you start to train your brain to like it, and you see patterns. So every time I watch a video, a movie or anything, I can’t stop thinking about the best.”

2. If you want to be youtuberfails. This is one of the clips from the interview I’ve seen circulating on Twitter. What Mr Beast knows how to do is only learned by doing it a lot. It is an almost indisputable reality in traditional trades. The same thing happens on the internet, and that is why young people will always have an advantage.

“You have to fail. A lot of people get overanalysis paralysis and just sit planning their first video for months. But anyone, especially if you don’t have videos on your channel, with your first video you won’t have views. This is for everyone who wants to be youtubers and they have not uploaded videos. You must go up 100 and improve on each one something ”.

The difficult question is how to improve something each time. Mr Beast has a thousand options. “In the second, put more effort into the script. In the third learn an editing trick. In the fourth, improve your voice inflections. In the fifth study another miniature. In the sixth he looks for another title. There are infinite ways, that’s the beauty of content creation on the internet.

3. There are no virality companies, but there will be. Just seven years ago, Mr Beast was a kid with 8,000 subscribers who dreamed of having 1 million subscribers. This is literally so. In 2015 he recorded a video where he said that he would be “a failure” if in 2020 he did not have 1 million. In 2020 it had 50 million.

Mr Beast video recorded in 2015 and posted on YouTube in 2020.
Mr Beast video recorded in 2015 and posted on YouTube in 2020.

Now that kid has a company with 100 workers. He explains that hiring is not easy for him because there are no profiles to work in a company that produces the best viral videos.

“It is unlike anything that has been done before. If Netflix wanted to hire someone to make a documentary, there would probably be thousands of people. But if you want to hire someone to make super viral YouTube videos, there isn’t one. Sometimes I hire people from TV contests. But they have these preconceived notions about pacing and how a video should be, and they think they’re better than you. So almost easier to hire people who are hard-working, self-obsessed, and easy to train and train them to be good at creating and producing content.”

4. The difficulty of kindness. A merit of Mr Beast is that in his videos he doesn’t laugh at anyone or criticize or insult. He often gives away money. He makes an interesting reflection on how difficult it is to make positive viral content. This week we have seen that an admirable resource to viralize content is that A famous singer criticizes her famous ex. There is something within our humanity that makes us enjoy the evil, torture, suffering of others.

“It is much easier to go viral with negative content than positive. Lots of people are a bit lazy. They take the easy route that gets the same number of clicks with less effort. It’s harder to get 10 million views on a video helping people than on one taking down a celebrity.”

Not only that, having an extreme opinion works better: “The more extreme your opinion, the more clicks. For example, ‘this water bottle sucks’ would work. But if you said ‘this water bottle is the worst I’ve ever tasted’ it would go a lot better. So you have to prime yourself so that whoever clicks is satisfied”.

It is nothing very new, but it is difficult to be aware of this trick when we are looking at titles of videos or posts.

5. Death, no. At only 24 years old, it is not uncommon for Mr Beast to not be excited about death. But he already has scheduled videos that would be published if he one day passes away. And he fantasizes about his digital future in a weird way: “If I knew I was going to die of cancer and I had 3 months to live, I would record videos non-stop, I would schedule them to go out once a week and I would act as if I were alive. It would be as if he had never died.

But then he makes this admission that must be pretty widespread among internet millionaires: “I’m scared to death. What if you die and see nothing else forever. It’s scary. I don’t think much. I hope someone smart like Elon [Musk] or people like that say: you know what, fuck it, we have managed to slow down aging, we can live 200-300 years. Would be great. It is absurd to think that throughout our lifetimes they will not find a way for us to live to 120-130 years, and that in that extra time they will not find another way to stretch to 200″.

6. The love of a psychopath. The description of the time he shares with his girlfriend is wonderful. It’s about optimizing the time they spend together: “She has a genuine love of learning, just like me. I need to learn something to justify my time. I feel like the time together is optimally used because if we watch a documentary or do IQ tests or read. Anything weird we decide to do, I’m always learning and improving, so it justifies our time.” If you don’t do IQ tests with your partner, I don’t know what you’re doing.

You have to understand the tone of Mr Beast. He describes himself as a YouTube and viral psychopath, whom he had a hard time fitting in as a teenager and who has managed to find a dedication that exploits his potential. He himself thought he was more normal. But no: “Something I thought as I was climbing the ladder of fame and wealth on YouTube, is that there would be lots of people like me, people with a kamikaze approach, who build a business and throw all their money, all their time, all their energy, everything I thought there would be hundreds like me. But maybe there are one or two. Every level I went up with a million subscribers, he would look: where are all these guys with millions of subscribers who are fucking psychos?

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Everything the greatest ‘youtuber’ in history learned from virality