Why Tatia Pilieva’s “First Kiss” Went Viral

In 2014, the internet went crazy for Tatia Pilieva’s “First Kiss” video. In the video, 20 people were asked to kiss a stranger for the first time, without ever having met before. Many of the couples had undeniable chemistry, and the video quickly went viral. Although it was later discovered that the video was originally intended to be a clothing advertisement, and that the participants were models, the authenticity of the interactions remained. They were still, in fact, strangers.

Here are a few ways to make a video go viral, like “First Kiss” did:

1. Pay attention to camera quality and filming.

“First Kiss” was filmed artistically and with high quality cameras. Had the video been filmed with a low resolution camera, the effect most definitely would not have been the same. Had the video been filmed from just one or two angles, many of the nuances and subtleties that make it so special would have been missed. Do not underestimate the power of a good camera or a good angle.

2. Choose the perfect song.

“We Might Be Dead Tomorrow” by Soko accompanies the video. The song’s slow, romantic quality greatly enhances the overall mood of the video. When choosing music for your videos, do not settle for anything that is less than perfect. Make sure to always put in as much time and effort as is necessary to find the perfect song.

3. Be authentic.  

Never be afraid to feel awkward; part of the beauty of the video is in its awkwardness and nervousness. You do not need to remove all traces of those things in order to succeed as a YouTuber. Be authentic and if that means being a little awkward or unsure sometimes, that’s okay.

Since 2014, “First Kiss” has hit over 116 million views and counting.

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Jana is a Communication Studies major and French Studies minor at the University of San Francisco. She loves Mac DeMarco, Beyonce, and the ocean.

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