I reverse-engineered Buzzfeed’s most viral posts and the truth is shocking!
Abhishek Madhavan

Abhishek, correct me if I’m wrong, but I think part of your point is that (and this gets to Sheshank’s question) these other websites that are aggregating terabytes of this content regularly are the free testing grounds that BF is monitoring to see what original content can go viral. Once there’s an inkling that it may be well received across a wide spectrum of audiences, BF picks it up and redistributes it via their machine. It is much tougher to expect that individuals’ social networks or even those of well-established brands will be able to internally foster that organic content and make it viral from within without external validation/testing from more base-level sharing sites like reddit, Tumblr, and Imgur. That’s why when individuals or brands try to create content destined for virality, it often fails before it starts.