Can virality be taught?
The more than 20 people gathered in a room in Shenzhen one recent weekend certainly think so. Some have forked out as much as 9,800 yuan (S$1,900) for a weekend crash course on how to create short, funny videos that will get lots of views on Douyin, ByteDance’s Chinese version of its short-video app TikTok. Lots of clicks lead to potential advertising endorsements, or so the equation goes.
Zhang Bo, a moon-faced man in his late 30s, is the man who promises to unlock the secrets of creating pandemic videos. Perched on a white table at the front of the class, Zhang regaled us with how one client made 70 million yuan in just three days following his methods, including interacting with influencers every 10 minutes while watching their live streams.
Another raked in more than 100,000 yuan in a single day. I could not independently verify those claims, but my classmates seemed impressed, scribbling down notes.