In an Internet landscape that heavily features quirky pet reels and horrible, yet mesmerizing, musical performances, TEDTalks celebrates intellectual success. On the five-year anniversary of the TED video website, the nonprofit enjoys 500 million total video views, more than 1 million Facebook followers, and 1 million iPad app downloads.
TED’s video site hosts 1,000 video lectures, offering well-spoken, tech-savvy speakers that cover a wide spectrum of topics. The organization is known for having elite conferences around the world and says it's "devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading." The videos are the only way most people can be a part of the inspiring, courageous, ingenious, informative action (as categorized by TED’s website).
The success that TED has enjoyed online surpassed its creators expectations. The videos are long by Internet viewing standards, 18 minutes, and cover what TED Media’s director June Cohen describes as "majorly esoteric topics," such as molecular biology and philosophy. "I think TEDTalks are proof that engaging, smart free video content can go viral no matter how long it is,” Cohen said.
TED’s success is in large part built on the backs of 7,000 enthusiastic volunteers from around the world, who translate the talks into more than 80 languages. The translation work is now being followed up with primary video in other languages. TED released its first-ever non-English TEDTalk (in Spanish) yesterday.