March 20, 2014 5:36 AM Subscribe
GQ visits the Cute Animal Viral Machine at the heart of Buzzfeed. "One joke in the BuzzFeed offices is that no one employed there can quite explain to their parents what exactly it is they do. To those parents, I would like to say: I can't entirely explain it, either, but whatever it is, these men and women are so fucking good at it. They have thought hard about who looks at what and why. Jack has done entire studies on why cats have triumphed over dogs on the Internet. (The answer involves 'path dependency,' the fancy economics term for when one product, like VHS, conquers another equally legitimate one, like Betamax.) He can tell you with some certainty that a reader of BuzzFeed is equally inclined to click on a photo of a dog or a cat—but that he or she is significantly more likely to share the photo of the cat with others. (Why? 'Totally non-data-driven theory is that dogs are trying too hard,' Jack says.)"
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