x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

Psy-chological appeal

There is simply no formula for "going viral" online. Facebook "likes" and Twitter re-tweets rarely equate to quality.

How many of the 815 million viewers who have watched the Gangnam Style YouTube video have any idea what it is actually about? Most of us will simply see a portly K-Pop star dancing around like he's on a horse, slinging an invisible lasso, or shaking his backside in a collection of tight shorts - including an uncomfortable-looking pink pair.

Most Koreans will know that Psy is in fact mocking rampant consumerism in Gangnam, an affluent suburb of Seoul. But the rest of us who helped make his ditty the most viewed YouTube video of all time this week? We're just captivated by a goofy looking guy humming a catchy tune whose antics are fun to watch online at work.

Which all suggests what we already knew: there is simply no formula for "going viral" online. Facebook "likes" and Twitter re-tweets rarely equate to quality. Sometimes it's a hungry dog being teased by his owner with empty promises of food. Other times, it's a boy named Charlie who bites fingers. Today - it's Psy on a horse.

Psy, why? Does it really matter?