How can virality be engineered?


Engineering virality can be approached systematically, leveraging specific tools and strategies. A key method discussed involves creating a viral content generation system that heavily uses data and technology. This system incorporates several essential components:

  1. Detection: First, use a detector to identify content that's trending on major platforms like Replit, Imgur, or 4chan—places where viral content often gets its start before becoming popular on more mainstream sites like Instagram or Twitter.

  2. Content Creation and Testing: Next, employ writers to quickly summarize trending topics, followed by using an automated A/B tester to create various headlines and images, testing these amongst a small audience to determine the most effective ones.

  3. Distribution: Finally, distribute the winning content variations to a broader audience to maximize reach and engagement.

This method builds virality by understanding what content is gaining traction, packaging it appealingly, and ensuring it reaches a broad audience efficiently. However, even though this system increases traffic and engagement dramatically, the content generated often results in lower quality, "fly by" traffic—the digital equivalent of a one-hit wonder rather than ongoing engagement 1 .

Engineering Virality

Shaan learns about a company that engineers virality by using a detector to find trending content and a tester to create winning headlines and images. This method allows them to package and distribute content that has a higher chance of going viral.

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