There’s a lot of hand-wringing about ad revenue among news and entertainment websites, so many are switching from articles to video on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as a solution to all problems. But, a sobering study from Buzzsumo shows that “pivoting to video” may not attract more eyeballs — unless you’re doing food or fashion videos. After examining 100 million Facebook videos, the analytics firm found out that food is far and away the most popular type, with over double the interactions of the next-most-viewed category, fashion, and beauty.
After that, topics with the most interaction are animals (pets), do-it-yourself, humor, gaming and tech. Way down on the list, in 12th place, is politics. To give you an idea of how well food videos do, Buzzfeed’s Tasty, the king of overhead cooking and recipe videos, regularly racks up hundreds of millions of views on single videos: A video on cheeseburgers called “Sliders 4 Ways” scored 194 million views, for instance.
Tasty’s high production values have a lot to do with the appeal, but it turns out that friends would rather share something fun than a distressing news story. “It gives you a reason to reach out to your friend. It allows you to connect with another person,” Tasty’s Ashley McCollum told Fast Company earlier this year. The length of the videos also matters: Subjects like food, fashion and DIY can be done in short and sweet time-frames, and around 60 to 90 seconds is ideal for interaction.