PhD student Honglin Yu. Photo by Stuart Hay.

PhD student Honglin Yu. Photo by Stuart Hay.

How the viral video star is born

Why is Justin Bieber famous? ANU researchers are determined to find the answer, as AMELIA BIDGOOD explains

More than one billion people regularly use YouTube and 300 hours of video are uploaded to the video-sharing website every minute.

The competition for the next viral video is intense.

While South Korean pop star Psy's Gangnam Style video has surpassed two billion views and Justin Bieber is now a multi-millionaire, YouTube fame and fortune is not guaranteed.

A decade on from its birth, very few people understand how YouTube videos gain popularity and how video views grow on other social media platforms.

But ANU researchers think they have figured out how YouTube videos become viral and a video's lifecycle of popularity.

They are aiming to be able to use this to predict popular videos in the future.