Why We Like “Buzzfeedified” Content

This blog post was directly inspired by my previous blogpost on “Buzzfeedifying.” I wanted to go more in-depth on the reasons behind the success of “Buzzfeedified” content. Each section breaks down important components of “buzzfeedifying”, including breaking content into lists, adding memes and gifs to content, and making content shorter. Additionally, the articles I used as basis for these sections are linked in the section titles. Check them out–they are great reads!


Why We Like Lists So Much:

(And yes–I find it ironic that this section is described with a list).

1.)  Numbers break up the monotony of words–Our brains process information quickly and when we see a number within a sea of text, it jumps out to us. This is why numbers (either in the title or simply in a list) draw our attention more than paragraphs of text.

2.) Lists hit our attentional “sweet spot”–Lists organize themselves in a way that is easier for our brains to process and remember the information. By chunking information with lists, we are able to mentally absorb information at a higher capacity.

3.) Lists are easy and reassuring–A list has a clear ending and because of this, we can estimate the amount of time it will take to process the information. This reassures us that we will complete the task. And when we do complete the task, we feel rewarded.

Brace Yourself Meme

Why We Like Memes and Gifs So Much:

1.) Memes reduce the amount of time we have to consider context–Since memes have an established theme or conclusion, when glancing at the meme we can deduce how the story will transpire. This gives our brains a mental heuristic.

2.) Both memes and gifs are easy to share–In today’s culture of sharing, having the ability to share a quick and easy joke with a friend online is almost necessary for socializing. Linking to a gif or a meme is simplistic and attracts the eye.

3.) Gifs demand attention–Movement catches our eye. Oftentimes this movement is associated with a strong display of emotion–being able to convey a feeling with a short soundless clip is vital in today’s fast-paced information society.

Why Shorter Content Receives More Attention:

1.) There is no deep investment from the audience–The willingness to read a paragraph of text is much higher than the willingness to read a 20 page article. The longer the content is, the more of a challenge it is for readers. Readers are more likely to invest their time in reading short bursts of information than longer bouts of content.

2.) Short content lives and dies quickly–Because so much content exists online, it is sometimes wasteful to spend so much time on one lengthy topic. You can absorb short content as quickly as it rises top popularity and dies. This follows our desire to not miss out on anything in social media.


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