Eli Pariser, CEO of Upworthy, spoke with us at the DigitasLBi Newfronts event about the company and his opinions on meaningful content, algorithms, and sharable videos.
Pariser explains that Upworthy focuses on finding meaningful content that speaks to something important while staying engaging and sharable. Example topics he gave are the environment and income inequality.
Upworthy’s mantra is “No great speech is to empty rooms” so the company works to find the rare combination of compelling and important information then distribute it. They receive most of their traffic from Facebook then direct traffic, email, and Twitter. Operating on an array of sources, important content is distributed through multiple channels reaching a larger audience.
Meaningful content is of the upmost importance at Upworthy, especially when we are slaves to changing algorithms on Facebook and Google. Pariser isn’t worried about these shifting codes though because it’s the content that matters. He explains, “if you’re gaming the system just trying to get a lot of clicks or a lot of likes, that’s not gonna work in the long term. What’s gonna work in the long term is holding people’s interest and giving them content that they love so much that they have to share with everyone.”
In order to make content sharable, it’s necessary to speak to something purposeful and powerful. Pariser makes a great point in saying a lot of people think popular articles and videos need to be dumb or silly but in reality, it needs to tap into people’s passion and draw attention to important things that will reach millions of people.