Rebecca Black: Viral Elite, Here to Stay

    April 8, 2011
    Josh Wolford

In case you guys didn’t know, IT’S FRIDAY, FRIDAY, FRIDAY, it’s the end of the week.  And that gives us a little latitude to delve into the silly, possibly inane parts of the interwebs.

Over on the official YouTube trends blog, a case is made for the staying power of Rebecca Black.  She just doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down her reign as viral queen.  At the writing of this article, Miss Black’s official video for “Friday” is about 200K shy of 90 million views.  And this doesn’t even do the phenomenon justice, as thousands of parody videos as well as analytical breakdowns (of which seat she should choose) have drawn millions of additional views.

The reason why Rebecca Black went so epically viral is not too hard to figure out.  The “Friday” video has what it takes to make a viral impact: it was irresistibly shareable with friends through social media.  But why has she stayed in the national consciousness for so long? YouTube has a couple nifty charts to show us the extent of how popular she remains, as compared to Ted Williams, the “homeless man with the golden voice.”

Both searches and views of the “Friday” video unsurprisingly receive a boost on Friday.  The video corresponds to a certain day of the week, and has become an ironic way to announce that end of the work week all over the world.  It is the dream of any viral video.  In the same vein, YouTube trends mentions that the Bone-Thugs-N-Harmony song “1st of tha month” gets a huge spike in views…you guessed it…the first of every month.  Score one for the Black viral team, as we all know that the quickest way to keep something relevant is to associate it with something timeless and popular (see Gary Glitter and Sports).

Why else has this become so popular?  Why has it stayed more popular than the adorable “baby laughs and mom ripping paper” or the above graphed “homeless man with radio voice?”  YouTube trends posits that it is directly attributable to its musical nature.

It’s a song.  And songs have the ability to become stuck in your head – even songs as unbearably horrible as “Friday.”  Think about it.  “Double Rainbow all-the way” was awesome, but it really took off when it got its own song (23 million views).  Antoine Dodson was popular, but it didn’t achieve infamy until it was made into the “bed intruder song” (78 million views).

So this Friday, let us celebrate our ability as a society to propel even the most asinine, vacuous drivel to worldwide popularity.  Because honestly, it’s a wonder we can all have such a far-reaching, shared experience, no matter how much you regret it afterwards.

(Just in case you forgot what we’re talking about)


Josh Wolford
Josh Wolford is a writer for WebProNews. He likes beer, Japanese food, and movies that make him feel weird afterward. Mostly beer. Follow him on Twitter: @joshgwolf Instagram: @joshgwolf Google+: Joshua Wolford StumbleUpon: joshgwolf