What makes an image go viral? Which emotions inspire viewing and sharing? Are people of different ages and genders motivated to share by different factors?
Fractl, a digital agency, recently set out to tackle those questions by examining how people react to a set of currently popular images.
The researchers took 50 of the top 100 images from Imgur.com over a three-month period, as voted on Reddit.com, and surveyed 800 people age 18-54 to to find out which emotions each image evoked. The responses were then categorized using Robert Plutchik's Wheel of Emotions, schema.
Many of the most popular images inspired positive feelings in respondents, the study found. In particular joy, interest, anticipation, and trust all correlated highly with views.
Overall, the top 10 emotions evoked by the images were as follows:
The emotions evoked least often by the images were as follows:
Ayaz Nanji is an independent digital strategist and a co-founder of ICW Content, a marketing agency specializing in content creation for brands and businesses. He is also a research writer for MarketingProfs. He has worked for Google/YouTube, the Travel Channel, AOL, and the New York Times.
LinkedIn: Ayaz Nanji