Tasty’s Explosion on Facebook

Like many of you, often, I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed when I’m bored or looking for a way to waste time. Over the years, I’ve seen an increasing number of recipe videos popping up in my feed. The short, easy videos that make you crave sweets and comfort food started with Tasty, a production of BuzzFeed Video.

BuzzFeed launched Tasty, as way to appeal to the niche audience of food lovers, with a series of how-to videos. A few months after launching, Tasty was consistently among the most popular Facebook publishers with 52 million likes and 2.2 billion views. So what exactly makes Tasty so popular on Facebook?

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Simple and Relatable Content

The videos feature mouth-watering recipes that are easy to make which is appealing to the audience. The simplicity of the videos is far from the recipes you find in cooking books or watch on cooking shows. Rather, the food is quick and easy to make. The videos are short enough to hold the audience’s attention, yet long enough to tell a story. Most of the videos are less than two minutes long and are fool proof.   Viewers save, share, and like the videos because the straightforward recipes are manageable with people’s busy schedules. The magnitude of users sharing videos speaks to the fact that users really enjoy the content, which encourages BuzzFeed to create even more Tasty videos. Overall, the content appeals to the audience because it speaks to their needs and desires.

Facebook Specific

As most of you have realized by now, Facebook videos that are featured in your newsfeed play automatically when you scroll over them and they are muted unless you turn the sound on. Tasty videos take these Facebook features into account given the recipe steps start immediately and have captions to tell you the ingredients and measurements.

Additionally, because Tasty videos are posted directly to Facebook, viewers do not have to click away from the site in order to view the videos. BuzzFeed could have chosen to post links to drive people back to BuzzFeed; however, this would deter many users from watching the content. Fortunately, posting directly to Facebook actually benefits Tasty. Facebook’s algorithm favors content that keeps users on the site, instead of directing them elsewhere. Also, Facebook will feature the videos more depending on the number so likes, views, and shares the videos achieve.

Knowing Your Audience

Tasty videos were created for a niche market – “foodies.” The content targets a younger audience, thus the recipes needed to match their tastes. However, when the size of the audience increased, Tasty decided to narrow it down by creating more specific sub-pages. For example, Proper Tasty focuses on British recipes.

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Tasty has expanded beyond Facebook to Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and YouTube. The additional social media platforms increase the reach of the content, while simultaneously growing engagement.

Growing Trend

I think we can all agree that social media has had an impact on our attention span. Users want news, sports, and entertainment to be available in shortened, easy to consumer forms. As a result, social media has changed the way we cook.

10 comments

  1. I am obsessed with Tasty videos, so when I saw your blog’s title, I had to read! Great post. I think the social component of Tasty videos also contribute significantly to Tasty’s success. I know I am not alone in admitting that when I watch a particularly fascinating or “craving-provoking” video, I’ll tag a few of my roommates in it and comment “we NEED to make this!” This allows for an easy, convenient exchange of ideas that also can attract new viewers (who may honestly be living under rocks at this point if they don’t know what Tasty is), but nonetheless, all good things to increase the popularity of Tasty videos.

  2. I found blog post super relevant as a foodie and college student, I am always looking for simple, fast, delicious recipes and Tasty definitely delivers that relevant content to me and has captured my attention. They have also done it in a way that is fast for us to consume during our busy lives and allows it for it to be easily shared with all around on social networks. It will be interesting to see if and how food brands and other relevant brands will see Tasty videos as a partnership opportunities to increase their brand awareness. I can see Tasty videos involving sponsorships and product placements soon due to the popularity and sharability of them!

  3. rohansuwarna · ·

    Great blog post! I love watching the Tasty videos on Facebook. I think one of the main reasons they have become so popular is because of Facebook’s autoplay feature. Even if I don’t plan on watching the video it starts playing and I find myself unable to stop watching! Also, the fact that the videos are so short and stream so quickly make them so lovable to viewers. Their growth across Twitter and Instagram as well has made them increasingly popular. I’m actually excited to think about whether or not Tasty can maybe expand into a live streaming platform. It would be really interesting to see if they can do live streaming on Facebook and Twitter.

  4. Great blog post! I find myself getting sucked into watching these Tasty videos all the time now on Facebook. There relative ease to make is a huge thing that sticks out to me. Also, all the food they make looks so good, another huge bonus for me. What I have found interesting is their growth in other markets. Now instead of getting just purely American Tasty videos, I find other Tasty branded content from other markets such as the UK, Asia, and South America popping up on my newsfeed. Even though I watch all these videos, I have yet to actually make a dish from one of their recipes. Never to late to start though, might have to try it out next time its my turn to cook dinner in the Mod!

  5. kdphilippi18 · ·

    I am also addicted to watching these videos so it was interesting to learn about Tasty’s strategy and why they have become such a huge success. It was definitely a very smart move for them to keep the videos within the Facebook platform and make sure the recipe starts playing immediately with subtitles since videos within the newsfeed play on mute at first. I am curious about how buzzfeed makes money off of them. I am not super familiar with the videos so I can’t remember if they show ads during the videos or if they get money for featuring different recipes. Regardless, if buzzfeed isn’t monetizing them now, I am sure they will be shortly given their popularity. Great post!

  6. polmankevin · ·

    Awesome post! I am a huge fan of Tasty. Scrolling through Facebook as a means of procrastination is a national hobby at this point, and Tasty is a leading supplier in this content industry. The main reason for their success, as you mentioned, is that they know their audience. They recognize that users don’t want long, drawn out cooking videos. They don’t care about the little details, people simply want to get the gist of the recipe and see the final product. Tasty does an amazing job of this. Also, the fact that their videos automatically play as I scroll over them is hugely important to their popularity. I am not the type of person who goes around searching for cooking videos, but if one pops up in my face and immediately starts playing I’ll most likely watch it. Great job!

  7. Aditya Murali · ·

    Cool post!! Although I hated it at first, I have to admit that I really love Tasty and what they’re doing! The autoplay feature on Facebook is absolutely lethal, and there is a good chance I watch at least 75% of any video that is on autoplay. What is so cool about Tasty is it’s aesthetic and the way the videos are made. I have never made one of their recipes before, nor do I intend to. But, I realized I just like watching them because the videos are so well made and I love watching them making something within 60 seconds! It’s literally like a mini-episode of How It’s Made that doesn’t even require me to turn the sound on, and that’s why I think it has gained so much popularity among people who aren’t cooks or people who aren’t necessarily looking for a fun food to make with their roommates.

  8. daniellep2153 · ·

    As mentioned in my presentation last week, I am definitely a foodie. I scroll through the Tasty videos all the time to find fun new recipes, especially for desserts. These videos have definitely helped make cooking and baking much more accessible to people who aren’t as comfortable cooking on a regular basis. They also serve as great entertainment for those who do cook frequently. Personally, I think these videos have definitely helped bring people to Facebook more often on a daily basis. However, I do hope that Tasty stays away from live streaming. Although you get to see every step of the process first hand, I think they are too long and I would much rather watch the shorter videos. Overall, great post!

  9. Great post!! I love Tasty videos. I recently tried one of these video recipes to make a sliced candy apple pop, a twist on the typical Halloween treat. I was convinced I’d screw it up (#Pinterestfail) but it turned out so well! You’re totally right, these videos are changing the ways that millennials cook and entertain — and I love it!

  10. Great post. Been interesting to see this trend pop up in recent years.

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