I can’t tell you how many hours I’ve spent watching food videos on Facebook. Short, 30 to 70 second video guides to any recipe you could ever imagine mesmerize me and hundreds of millions of viewers around the world. Something about these videos makes us stop scrolling through ours feed and simply stare at a random dish being made.
It doesn’t stop there, oh no. We start jumping around to multiple food videos and before we know it, hours have gone by. But what’s the secret sauce that makes short food videos so popular among Facebook users big and small, young and old? It’s not just our insatiable appetites and inner desires to all be crowned Top Chef (Tastemade actually made this kind of a Facebook reality a couple years back), but people love food that brings them home and makes them nostalgic.
There’s something comforting about watching a pair of hands (that could be yours!) prepare a dish that your grandma (or any relative) has made for you – it’s beyond relatable. Nostalgia plays a key part in the immense popularity of these videos and why they all have exploded all over Facebook.
The most compelling part of this phenomenon is the fact that no matter what media platform creates the video, they will all be successful. From Tasty to Tastemade, (and Spoon University too!) any food video becomes popular with tons of positive comments, revealing that the familiarity of these videos is comforting and well-liked among viewers everywhere.
For example, the Tasty video of Ice Cream Churro Bowls is brilliant. Creating a twist on churros, Tasty draws viewers in by reminding them of the warmth and sweetness of a childhood favorite. Tasty then keeps their attention by speeding-up the video to an impossible speed (if you’re like me and think watching watching butter melt is fascinating, read this) and including ice-cream (come on, who hates ice cream?).
But what makes you spend endless hours on your phone watching and re-watching these videos? The answer? Facebook itself.
Food videos are created precisely for Facebook with the idea that they are on constant replay in a very friendly, non-invasive way. And unlike Instagram or Snapchat, platforms like Facebook that provide users with the ability to switch to other apps or profiles very quickly, are designed specifically for users to stay on one profile for a long time.
Tapping into what has made cooking channels so well-liked, food videos make viewers feel all warm and fuzzy inside as they imagine themselves as a child devouring their favorite snack or now as an adult cooking food from the heart for their loved ones.
However, Facebook videos do it even better because unlike one hour shows, these videos are under one minute long. And in today’s busy and ever-advancing world, 60 seconds is the recipe for success.
What’s even more interesting is the fact that Facebook’s food video platforms have, in fact, expanded to other social media platforms, including Instagram. But with only much less fewer followers on Instagram, it’s clear that Tasty locks-in the millennial crowd on Facebook much easier with its auto-play content.
Most of these platforms have come up with a designed recipe for these hypnotic videos (surprisingly bringing about the same feeling as these food processing videos), which are now almost as refined as a science. With each producer being able to create and edit a video now only in one day, Facebook users hungry for more don’t ever have to worry.
Expanding with spin-offs like Tastemade Español and Proper Tasty to appeal to the masses, these platforms have proved to be the true leader in media. So what can we take away from this? Content driven towards specific social media platforms works and it’s the best kind of media there is.