If you have ever been on a social media network, it’s more than likely that you have seen a Tasty video. These quick, time-lapse cooking videos have skyrocketed in popularity across social media.
Tasty is designed by Buzzfeed for Facebook, and fits perfectly into Facebook’s functions, especially taking advantage of the auto-play feature for videos. Tasty videos are what’s called “thumb stoppers”: content that gets you to stop aimlessly scrolling through your Facebook feed. Since you don’t need sound to see a cooking video, you can simply watch the video and move on. But the point is that it gets you to stop. One estimate even states that one in four active Facebook users watch at least one of these Tasty videos a month. This is a huge number.
Cooking videos are definitely not a new creation. There is an entire TV channel dedicated solely to cooking instruction and cooking shows, but Tasty is different. Alvin Zhou, a Buzzfeed employee, came up with the idea after one of his friends gave him a burnt cookie for his birthday. He didn’t understand how someone could mess up something as simple as cookies from a baking mix.
Tasty is different from traditional cooking shows, and even cookbooks, in that it caters to a completely different group of people: millennials. Tasty allows viewers a quick glance into the cooking process for some of their favorite foods, or foods that they’ve never seen before. Unlike simply reading a recipe, Tasty videos allow for people to see exactly what every step of the process is supposed to look like (texture, color, how long to stir for, etc.), making cooking much more accessible to people who are more interested in “Instagram-ing” their dinner than actually cooking it. Even the way the videos are filmed is done in a completely different way. Rather than showing someone making a recipe, the videos are filmed directly from above, which makes it much easier for the viewer to see the hands in the video as their own hands, further making the recipes more accessible.
Tasty was a creative, revolutionary way to use social media. Tasty videos get millions of views in matters of days, showing that these “thumb-stopping” videos are really effective.
Tasty is also an example of how a creative product can spread across cultures. Multiple other Tasty pages have popped up, with similar popularity to the original. Proper Tasty (British), Tasty Japan, and Bien Tasty (Spain) are just a few examples. The idea of making cooking more accessible spread across cultures.