How do you create a viral tweet? If you're Google, the answer is easy: see what everyone in the world is interested in by tracking their search results, then write something about whatever's popular. During the Germany–Brazil World Cup game yesterday, Google let NPR into its newsroom to see how it chooses which trends it should share with the world. NPR's most interesting finding was that Google chooses to avoid negativity — avoiding, say, bringing up Brazil's staggering loss, despite a wide interest in it.
"We're also quite keen not to rub salt into the wounds," Google producer Sam Clohesy tells NPR, "and a negative story about Brazil won't necessarily get a lot of traction in social."
Instead, Google chose to share this through Twitter and other social channels after the game:
Google has been sharing tidbits like this throughout the World Cup. It is effectively advertisement, but it's hard not to be intrigued by Google's insights into the world's interests. While NPR was at Google, it got to learn some of the other trends that didn't make the cut: at first, searches for the lyrics to a chant became popular in Brazil; later, the word "shame" started climbing in the charts. As for Germany? Its citizens had a pretty obvious question: "What's the highest score in a World Cup victory ever?"