The power of online video: How viral site Newsner created an international hitMichael Baines. Photo: Press

Viral video: How Newsner created an international hit

Publicerad: 13 April 2016, kl. 9:47

How many people can be interested in a clip of a Swedish man feeding stray dogs in Thailand? As it turns out, over 33 million in about a week.

Adam Jönsson

The clip ‘‘The man that rescues dogs’’ was published by the animal edition of Swedish viral site Newsner, Newsner Djur. It shows Michael Baines daily routine of feeding more than 80 dogs.

‘‘It’s amazing that we can create such a strong engagement for a good cause. Our animal audience are usually quick to share and comment but we’ve never seen a response like this,’’ says Anna Bouvin, editor of Newsner Djur. ‘‘It really shows the power video has in social media right now.’’

The clip has been translated into seven languages. More than two million people has seen the 95-second-long video in its original Swedish. In English, the clip has been seen over 25 million times and gotten more than 2.2 million interactions, according to numbers provided to Smashdig from Newsner.

‘‘I’ve gotten over 2,400 personal friend requests from all over the world. And a stream of messages, which I have tried to respond to. There’s even people who wants to help me on the ground. And of course, there’s donations, which are very welcome,’’ says Michael Baines.

Newsner is one of the most successful Swedish viral sites. It started back in 2014 and has since then expanded to include editions in seven different languages. Late last year, Nyheter365—the owner of Newsner—signed a deal with Schibsted-owned viral site Lajkat to create the biggest social media network in Sweden.

Competitor Expressen—owned by Bonnier—launched its viral site Omtalat around the same time in 2014. It, too, tried an international expansion of the viral project.

Omtalat launched in German, Turkish and Norwegian editions. But in a January story, Smashdig was able to show that these site had not published anything new in about a year.

‘‘The international viral sites are still operational, but we´re currently focusing on the Swedish market given that we are gaining market shares rapidly here. In 2013, Expressen had only 19 per cent of the mobile market defined as the two leading media houses in Sweden, but now we have some 42-43 per cent,’’ Thomas Mattsson, editor-in-chief at Expressen, told Smashdig in an email interview for the Jan. 28 story. ‘‘This increase in traffic and reach has been phenomenal, so we´ve staffed up the Swedish business to meet the demand from both editorial and development points of views.’’

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