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The Secrets Behind Playbuzz’s 10 Most Shared Quizzes of 2014

Playbuzz-powered content could never have become the most shared on Facebook without all of the awesome content created by our community of authors. We went from launch to over 5000 creator community members over the course of 2014. And these guys are publishing quizzes and listicles that are outperforming the stuff that the top professional publishers are churning out. If you didn’t know any better, judging by the engagement metrics alone, you might think that the content on Playbuzz.com was created by professional viral scientists.

Looking at the data for Newswhip’s list of the top 25 Facebook-shared publishers, the content on Playbuzz has the highest ratio of shares per content item by far, with an average of 9,953 in October 2014. Without our community of creators, we’d be just another content media startup with scalability questions.

Elemental Intrigue that’s Embed-Ready and Share-Optimized

At a time when media companies are consolidating, making it increasingly harder for smaller brands and independents to make inroads, our publishing tools are enabling the re-democratization backlash of content. As you’ll see below, the Playbuzz-powered content with the most shares is often boosted by embeds on third-party websites. If it appears on the pages of Playbuzz.com, then it’s available for embedding anywhere, so feel free to plunder our troves.

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The Playbuzz author community’s most shared content of the past year covers a compelling brew of topics. Especially well represented themes include the metaphysical (past lives!), spiritual (auras!) and supernatural (zombies!). On a more basic level, though, nearly all of these content items cover basic identity questions that audience members may secretly wonder about themselves, such as their memory skills, people-reading abilities and subconscious connections to attributes, places and times they might not yet know much about. Perhaps it’s these content items’ ability to tap into people’s existing primal uncertainties that has made them into such major viral hits.

1. “What Country in the World Best Fits Your Personality?

Location-themed content often makes a big splash with audiences, as people like to confirm that they are where they belong after all – and enjoy discovering new geographically based aspects of their identities. Somewhat exotic countries, including Dubai and New Zealand, were among the most popular results of the quiz, and each result included a rich description of the relevant locale, along with lists of complementary personality traits associated with it. To date, this item has raked in 7.3 million unique views, 2.3 million Facebook shares and 3 million Facebook comments.

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The author used an especially attention-grabbing main image here, which may have contributed to this item’s success as well. This quiz went on to be embedded no fewer than 90 times on various websites, including AOL and Dose.com.

2. “Which Song Was Actually Written About YOU?

To love a song is to sense a bit of yourself in it, a sentiment that the author of this quiz has leveraged well. Even better, she included an embedded YouTube clip of each person’s song in the results content display, which adds to the sense of satisfaction at the great reveal.

The quiz was eventually reposted by Bitecharge.com, which drew 300,000 Facebook interactions unto itself. All in all, this item yielded 1.9 million comments and 2.2 million shares on Facebook.

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3. “Who Were You in Your Past Life?

A piece of content that borders on spiritual issues in a playful manner, this one paved the way for subsequent “past life” hits that enabled the audience to discover past crimes committed, causes of death and more. It’s intriguing stuff, and it’s hard to rebut, no less.

Published back in February, this was the first content item powered by Playbuzz to get to a million Facebook interactions, eventually yielding 2.2 million comments and 2.1 million shares on the social network.

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4. “How Good Are You at Reading People?

This item represents a bit of a twist on the personality quiz, allowing participants to check their skills rather than reveal their traits. As with any good viral quiz, the author here found the perfect balance between easy enough for anyone to excel and difficult enough that it actually challenges people.

The quiz results were great for sharing, too, as they gave people a great opportunity to humble-brag. In fact, at 21%, this quiz earned a higher share rate than any other in 2014. Publishers soon caught on to the fever, with over 90 different websites embedding and reposting the item. The tallies to date show approximately 10.7 million unique views, driven by 2 million shares and 1.4 million comments on Facebook.

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5. “What is the Color of Your Aura?

A compellingly different take on personality analysis, this is yet another example of the extent to which people are drawn towards the confluence of identity and colors.

Whereas most of the bigger hits on Playbuzz spike in popularity rapidly, with attention eventually tapering off, this one was a slow burn hit, demonstrating the power of “evergreen” content. To date, it’s brought in 6.4 million unique visitors, thanks to 1.7 million shares and 1.5 million comments on Facebook.

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6. “Can We Guess Your Real Age?

Another inventive use of the quiz platform, this was the first to flip the flow of speculation, designed so that the quiz itself does the guessing rather than the quiz taker. Perhaps by the author’s brilliant design, the quiz has the uncanny ability to guess people’s ages incorrectly, with the results displaying a prominent call-to-action. “Did we get it right or wrong?” asks the quiz. “Tell us in the comments.”

So in addition to the 3 record-breaking million comments that people left on one another’s Facebook share posts for this one, there are over 200,000 comments on the content page itself. That’s compared to 1.6 million Facebook shares, which isn’t usually enough to yield a whopping 3.2 million unique views. When it comes to driving interactions, even negative emotions can be extremely effective, and when leveraged properly, Facebook comments can drive virality as much as shares.

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7. “What Element Are You?

Created by a blogger who specializes in the Myers-Briggs personality test, this item and its unique results (elements like “Light”, “Darkness” and “Void”) provide some key lessons in the importance of bucking conventions.

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Moreover, the quiz is 15 questions long, which many would assume is too many for today’s audiences to complete, but the page became a viral sensation, holding the attention of 2.2 million unique viewers for an average of 4.5 minutes each – an eternity for digital content consumption.

8. “How Good Is Your Memory?

The content here may have pleasantly surprised some people who expected to be asked how often they can’t find their keys and instead perused a series of images for later recall. Also, this quiz could have been built using our popular trivia format, but the author was wise and used the personality quiz structure, which allows the audience to complete the entire item, building anticipation before seeing any results.

Apparently, it works, with over 80 different websites embedding the quiz and visitors spending an average of 3 minutes on the page. It also drew 1.5 million shares and 1 million comments on Facebook.

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9. “What Color is Your Personality?

Another big win for the intersection of identity and colors, this one is based on a well-respected body of psychological study, the theories of Swiss therapist Max Lüscher.

Each question involves selecting a color, with the one picked most revealing things about the 8.9 million unique quiz takers that they hadn’t yet known about themselves. No wonder they stuck around for an average of 3 minutes each. What’s more, a full 17% of the page’s viewers went on to share it on Facebook, and it was embedded for syndication by some 70 different websites.

10. “How Long Would You Survive in the Zombie Apocalypse?

This zombie survival quiz could possibly be the perfect viral storm. Few pieces of content so effectively tap into memes, pop culture and hypothetical introspective discovery through the prism of humor.

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As an interesting point of comparison, the AMC network’s website for The Walking Dead TV show features a far slicker looking quiz with the same premise as this one. While theirs drew some 67,000 shares on Facebook, our user-generated version drew 1.1 million. Thanks to a 15% share rate, about 2.8 million unique visitors saw the Playbuzz quiz, spending an average of 3.5 minutes on the page.

Let the Fans Guide Your Content

There’s not always a need to reinvent the wheel. Our #PlayfulContent author community is already doing it all day long. By creating quizzes and listicles that they themselves would want to enjoy, they’re enabling syndicating publishers to tap into what audiences enjoy most.

Want us to give you the grand tour of our embed tools? We’d be happy to! Get in touch today.

About the author

Shachar Orren

Shachar Orren is the Chief Storyteller at Playbuzz. Serving as Playbuzz’s evangelist, she is in charge of empowering the company's partners to achieve storytelling greatness, heading up both the content and brand marketing efforts. Before becoming Playbuzz’s sixth employee, Shachar worked for over nine years as a journalist and senior editor in Israel's leading publications, and holds a BA from Tel Aviv University.

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