A CDE Definition
A video that spreads quickly via the Internet. It is often a short clip on a video sharing site such as YouTube or Vimeo that people reference in blogs, emails and instant messages.
In 2012, a half-hour documentary was produced by Invisible Children, Inc. about Joseph Kony, head of the Lord's Resistance Army (LRA) in Uganda, who was indicted for war crimes in 2005 by the International Criminal Court. Uploaded to the YouTube and Vimeo sharing sites, within a week, the video was viewed by more than 80 million people. See viral marketing.
(1) See also viral programming.
(2) Viral marketing is an online advertising approach that functions like word-of-mouth. The ad is disseminated via links in email, blogs and websites that point to a service or product people might want. The "viral" refers to the speed with which the ad propagates to others and has nothing to do with computer viruses; its purpose is strictly advertising.
The term was attributed to venture capital firm DFJ (www.dfj.com) after its investment in Hotmail grew dramatically. Hotmail automatically put an advertisement at the end of everybody's email message suggesting that whoever is reading it signs up for Hotmail too. In a year and a half, more than 12 million people became Hotmail subscribers.
Share With a Friend
The most common viral marketing is a sharing link, whereby every visitor to a website is invited to share the articles or blog posts on the site, or the site itself, with others (see social sharing). See viral video and sneezing.
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