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ARTICLE: What makes news viral?

Twitter by World's Direction, licence: CC0 1.0

Ahmed Al-Rawi, of Concordia University, studies the elements that constitute news virality on YouTube and Twitter. The author examines the most viewed videos on four newspapers and their most retweeted news stories. The selected newspapers are the Guardian, New York Times, Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal.

The article studies 17 viral elements that have been identified in previous research. Results show that online news readers prefer to read and share overwhelmingly positive and awe-inspiring news. In making news viral social significance and unexpectedness are the most appealing elements.

The article “Viral News on Social Media” was published by Digital Journalism and it is available here (abstract public).

Picture: Twitter by World’s Direction, licence: CC0 1.0

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