As Facebook hustles to become a one-stop destination for all things entertainment (and, let's be honest, daily procrastination), the social media site's video ambition escalates with almost exponential speed. Once upon a time, Facebook Video was simply a photo supplement, allowing people who accidentally clicked "record" on their iPhone cameras to upload the moving flubs. Now it's a titanic industry competing with YouTube for eyeballs.
What can Facebook's most viewed videos teach us about the future? Here are the 10 highest-ranking grabs-for-your-attention currently on the platform.
Data surveys videos added to the platform since 2014. View counts updated on March 29, 2017.
Acquired Taste: Blood Rice Cakes With Timothy DeLaGhetto and Justina Valentine
10. "A Valuable Lesson For A Happier Life"
Page: Meir Kay
Uploaded on: December 13, 2016
"It's easy to get caught up on the less important things in life and lose focus on what matters most," writes 27-year-old Brooklyn-born filmmaker Meir Kay in the preamble to his hyper-inspirational short film. "When I was younger I heard a beautiful parable on the topic of prioritizing the things that truly matter and decided to bring the message through the medium of video."
Kay's parable is the story of the "Jar of Life," a three-dimensional metaphor for living life to the fullest, itself based on 7 Habits of Highly Effective People author Stephen Covey's rock story. The story and video boil down to: When you think you've maxed out existence, keep doing more. Through the endless scroll on Facebook, it's easy to see why this saccharine pat on the back played well. Not all the feels -- just the right ones.
9. "A Ride Through Time!"
Page: Music Crowns
Uploaded on: April 1, 2015
Music Crowns, a Facebook page dedicated to "supporting unsigned and independent music artists and giving them the opportunity and platform to play to a huge audience and media presence," helped take this video from Australian comedy group SketchShe to new heights. It's a perfect storm of "yeah, I guess I'll watch that": "Carpool Karaoke"-like sing-a-longs, bursts of recognizable tunes, and three young camera-ready women. As the video description notes, this video "May Contain Naked Hot Chicks." Clicks, baited.
8. "How To Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps"
Uploaded on: September 21, 2016
We know Facebook food videos, so we can say this is a great Facebook food video worthy of 230 million eyeballs. In just under 1:20, the fine folks at Goodful teach us how to turn trash can fodder -- everything from lettuce to garlic -- into the seedlings for a blossoming vegetable garden. The latest comic book movie can shell out hundreds of millions of dollars for super-special effects, but to be honest, this video had my jaw hanging open for longer than any Batman stunt sequence.
7. "How To Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps"
Page: Tasty Vegetarian
Uploaded on: April 22, 2017
The same way you can plant the junk portions of lettuce heads into the soil to grow new lettuce heads, Facebook videomakers can take old ideas and plant them back into the social stream to grow new hits. Six months after Goodful's "How To Grow Vegetables From Kitchen Scraps" blew up on Facebook, Buzzfeed's "Tasty Vegetarian" did the same thing for fruit. Honestly, there's room for both: The tips for growing one's own avocados could save precious cash to put towards a down payment on a house.
HuffPost Good News/Facebook
6. "Cutting Hair with Swords"
Uploaded on: December 3, 2015
News videos are all the rage on Facebook, with flashy visuals and overlay text telling bite-size stories in a matter of seconds. AJ+ struck gold with this mini-profile of Madrid-based hairdresser Alberto Olmedo, who slices and dices ladies' locks with a pair of longswords. A blowtorch is often involved. He speaks in a hunky Spanish accent. His style is science, but the reason this video blew up isn't.
5. "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?!"
Page: HuffPost Good News
Uploaded on: December 13, 2014
Where single snippets of adorable footage tend to go viral on YouTube, Facebook's hit machine favors "longer" videos (2:50 is basically Gone with the Wind), specifically of the mash-up variety. "WHY DON'T YOU LOVE ME?!" is the oldest video in Facebook's top 10, and it's essentially a montage of dogs teasing cats, fulfilling the mission of "Good News," which is all positive vibes, 24-7. In these dark and dire times, the top comment nails it: "I wish humans were as cool as animals but lets face it were not lmao."
4. "Baked Apple Roses"
Page: Tip Hero
Uploaded to: October 5, 2015
There's nothing extraordinary about this cooking video, which takes viewers step by step through the process of cutting an apple into the shape of a rose. This drama is utilitarian -- yes, even you, denizen of the Internet, could possess the culinary talent of a Cake Boss or Great British Bake-Offer. Step 1: watch someone else do it. Step 2: repeat.
3. BEST FRIENDS! (w/ Dwarf Mamba)
Page: Logan Paul
Uploaded on: August 28, 2016
In 2017, you can be a professional "social media entertainer" who pumps out a mix of rant-at-camera vlogs, pranks, self-starring advertisements, and off-the-cuff comedy videos for anyone with 30 seconds to kill. With over 15 million Facebook fans, Logan Paul is one of the biggest, his knucklehead bro-dom and pratfalling connecting with the people of planet Earth. But his biggest video is a goofy, strangely problematic ode to his friendship with fellow social entertainer Dwarf Mamba. The video shows all the ways Logan looks out for his shorter friend, from holding him up to pee to bumping into attractive women so Mamba can get a better look of her butt. It's all set to a cover of "You've Got a Friend in Me," and all rather odd.
2. "Kids Growing Up with Dogs"
Page: The Dodo
Uploaded on: November 29, 2016
Twist: Maybe humans are as cool as animals! At least when they're babies, i.e. human pets. The Dodo (who, full disclosure, is a member of our Group Nine Media family) took the assembly-of-cute-sourced-videos genre to the next level by pairing man's best friend with man's spawn who will one day grow angsty and turn against man only to fall back into man's arms when they both share a loving sigh over an adorable dog video.
1. "Rings TV Store Prank"
Page: The official Rings movie page
Uploaded on: January 23, 2017
Of all the videos to lord over Facebook, a promotional tie-in for a long-delayed sequel to The Ring is the one that the most users couldn't resist (or couldn't scroll past quickly enough -- we'll never know for sure). In fairness, the video is quite clever: staged at a pop-up HD TV sale, unknowing customers are led towards a TV where Samara, the agitated spirit from The Ring, will pop out just like she does in the movies. Similar to a demonic viral video concocted for the movie Carrie back in 2013, the Rings video realizes the effects of a horror movie in real time, and freaks the hell out of people who simply wanted free shit. The materialistic will be punished.
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