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BuzzFeed wins

For 30 minutes this afternoon, the world stood still to watch two BuzzFeed employees wrap rubber bands around a watermelon. It was the most ridiculous use of Facebook’s new Live Video feature imaginable, and yet it was some of the most compelling live content the world has ever seen. 800,000 people watched live.

I think, years from now, we will all remember when we first heard about the live watermelon video. For me, it was from a tweet. “Why would I watch a watermelon be wrapped in rubber bands?” I thought. “That sounds like a dull waste of time.” But I could not have been more wrong.

For those of you just hearing about this, honestly, I don’t know if you’ll ever be able to understand how momentous this broadcast was. Because now, after the fact, you already know what happens to a watermelon when wrapped in rubber band after rubber band. You know that a watermelon doesn’t just collapse — it explodes. You know exactly how many rubber bands it takes to get there (somewhere around 670 or so, I think? The moment was so tense that I lost track). BuzzFeed‘s watermelon brought the whole internet together. And we all cried out with catharsis as it came to an end.

Mark Zuckerberg made a lofty speech earlier this week about how he can imagine citizen journalists using Facebook Live to share what’s happening in the world. I don’t know if this is what he was picturing, but I think we can all agree it is both what we truly want and deserve.

Kudos, BuzzFeed.


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