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BuzzFeed’s exploding watermelon video proves Facebook Live is no joke
In the span of five days, BuzzFeed's video has attracted more than 10 million views and over 320,000 comments.
Last Friday, BuzzFeed started a Facebook Live video broadcast featuring two employees testing how many rubberbands it would take to explode a watermelon. By the time the 44-minute broadcast ended, the video had attracted more than 800,000 concurrent viewers and made “watermelon” a trending topic on both Facebook and Twitter.
Since the broadcast five days ago, more than 10 million people have watched BuzzFeed’s exploding watermelon experiment. Filmed with nothing more than iPhone on a tripod and a mic connected to a drumstick, the video now has more than 320,000 comments and 17,000 shares.
“The idea came about in a brainstorm earlier this week about the various things the BuzzFeed Motion Picture New York team could do around Facebook Live,” says Jeremy Briggs, the head of BuzzFeed video New York.
In an interview conducted over email, Briggs said his team has been experimenting a lot with different formats and types of content.
“One of our producers, and the director of this FB Live video, Edd Souaid, had seen the watermelon-rubber band experiment before and thought it would be great for a live video as it would give the audience a level of suspense and draw them in.”
Watch us explode this watermelon one rubber band at a time!
Posted by BuzzFeed on Friday, April 8, 2016
As a brand, BuzzFeed is ahead of the game when it comes to video. In January, BuzzFeed Tasty won three billion video views across YouTube, Facebook, Vine and Instagram, setting a new record for video views.
Briggs says BuzzFeed has seen a growing audience of engaged followers since it began experimenting with Facebook Live.
“One of the benefits of using Live video is that it allows us to connect with our audience in real time, and creates a level of intimacy with our viewers.”
With the launch of its first broadcast on March 1 for Super Tuesday, BuzzFeed has created more than 80 Facebook Live videos to date.
“Both editorial — in the US and international — and BuzzFeed Motion Pictures are experimenting with Facebook Live video,” says Briggs, “We’ve had a lot of success across a few of our different Facebook pages, including BuzzFeed, BuzzFeed News, BuzzFeed Video, Tasty, BuzzFeed Food, BuzzFeed DIY, Try Guys, among others.”
According to the Briggs, some of BuzzFeed’s biggest Facebook Live hits have been Tasty videos, like this “Tasty Fondue Party” broadcast that has generated more five million views and over 100,000 comments since its March 7 broadcast.
Tasty Fondue Party
Posted by Tasty on Monday, March 7, 2016
“One of the reasons the exploding watermelon concept worked was that it built to a climatic [sic] moment,” said Briggs, “This is definitely a format we’re going to continue to experiment with.”
Briggs wouldn’t reveal any details when asked about upcoming live video plans, only saying that BuzzFeed will continue to play around with different format and concepts, producing Facebook Live videos across its Facebook pages, including BuzzFeed Video and Tasty.