Stanford researchers have pinpointed what makes a Reddit post go viral. But don’t get too excited — the formula for click bait is pretty complicated.
A team of statisticians analyzed 16,700 pictures on Reddit over the past few months. They studied the impact of the content, the title, the community to which it was submitted and the time of submission, the tech blog The Verge reports.
Good content, “speaks for itself,” according to the researchers, and may become popular regardless of title. But sometimes titles matter immensely: titles in categories for so-called “gifs,” “pics” and “gaming” did better when they were somewhat similar to other titles in those verticals; and for the “atheism” and “gaming” categories, titles for submissions will perform better the more closely they mirror other titles in the vertical.
Time was also a factor: Submissions were most likely to succeed when posted about 8 a.m. EST and least likely to succeed around midnight.
The study could have major implications for media marketers, researchers said. Reddit drives more than 4.8 billion page views per month, making it the go-to site for all things viral. The data from the study could be used to develop models to market different projects.