Learning from Tasty’s Success on Facebook

Any millennial who uses Facebook would have at least seen one Tasty video on their newsfeed in the last year. Tasty, run by a team in Buzzfeed, posting sped-up simple cooking videos daily that often require only basic ingredients. The videos are very short and the recipes are easy to follow.

It was only when Tasty announced its one-year anniversary that I realized how young the Facebook Page was. In one short year, the main Tasty Facebook page gained 69 million (69 million) likes, and has spun off 5 localized Tasty Pages (ie Proper Tasty for a more ~Britain~ feel).

Tasty’s success on Facebook can be attributed to a few main things:

Delivering Consistent Quality Content

Tasty specializes in near-daily videos of recipes that would appeal to millennials — they are quick, easy, but also delicious. Backed by the bigger Buzzfeed umbrella, their access to technology and producers with a proven track record for creating virality meant that they started this project with a solid idea of what they wanted Tasty to represent.

Filmed at a fixed eagle-eye perspective, it’s like the viewer is already making the dish themselves. The set is simple and clean, as if it could be in the viewer’s own kitchen. Two hands are seen making the food could very well be the viewer’s own hands. Their videos are less than two minutes, making them easily digestible.

In the world of Internet recipes, Tasty’s can be considered top-tier in terms of easiness to follow. From personal experience, I can say that either the written recipe is way too wordy or a video is so long and too time-consuming. I wanted to find a recipe for a matcha swiss roll cake one time, and could not find a recipe that I was satisfied with. I ended up following a Tasty recipe I found from Googling even if I wasn’t looking for Tasty specifically. Since their videos are clear and short

On top of making the videos very short, understandable, and personable, the recordings are so smooth and seamless that it’s hard to remember just how much effort was put into recording editing each video. The crisp images, consistent and personal style, and the easy instructions are a large part of why Tasty experienced so much success in this past year.

Specializing on a Platform known for Poor-Quality Content

The reality is that Facebook is not the best platform for content creators. Maybe I’ll expand on this issue more thoroughly in another piece, but for now I’ll just briefly summarize.

Content creators have been moving to other platforms, partly due to three factors: the terms and conditions set out by Facebook (including the myths around them), the lack of built-in monetization mechanisms, and the lack of content searchability. Most of the viral content on Facebook is simply poor quality, made without design and style being a main concern (of course there are exceptions, like NowThis and IFLS). I, personally, am sick of seeing posts like “Comment @T And They Have To Buy You Pizza”, minion memes, and content ripped from other social media sites, captioned with emojis. Scrolling through my own Newsfeed, Tasty videos are like a golden beacon.

Not only are Tasty videos are of high quality, they have chosen a platform that other creators have more or less given up on. In stark contrast with the majority of other videos on Facebook, Tasty videos seem so much more polished and professional. In a way, Tasty is ridding itself of competition it would have on other platforms and starting in a new land.

A Willingness To Innovate and Grow

Like any successful venture, Tasty was quick to respond to its environment and was not satisfied with the status quo. Over time, videos became more polished, and different styles of videos arose.

The first Tasty videos were ideas offered from Buzzfeed coworkers, and as the popularity of the page grew, a more specialized team of food editors took on this role.

The team behind Tasty is extremely well-versed on reading trends in their market, and ways they can stay “at the top”. By spinning off sister pages like Proper Tasty, Bien Tasty, and Nifty (Nifty is tasty-esque videos, but more for home DIY projects), they opened themselves not only to a more multilingual market, but also categorized their recipes in a genres that is easy for anyone to find.

More recently, they have been posting videos of food “four ways”, where a cake, pasta, or something else is make in four different ways. This super condensed, non-difficult videos provided followers with 4x the number of recipes, gave the viewer an illusion of choice.

Tasty’s success really shows that there’s an unserved market on Facebook, a market looking for quality content that can improve their daily lives. For any one of us looking to make a breakthrough on any social media platform, Tasty should be a motivation that pushes us into action.