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What you ought to know about Internet Quizzes and how they work

Suzana Joel
22nd Nov 2016
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If you’re the type who chronically scrolls down Facebook, Twitter, or BuzzFeed, it is very unlikely that you haven’t come across the infamous quizzes. These quizzes would ask you a few questions with some answers to choose from, and the subsequent result will be an interpretation of your answers. It can be anything like what career you should have, your inner Disney princess, why you’re still single, and what possible Illuminati member you could be.

Image : shutterstock

Image : shutterstock

With quirky headlines and equally quirky answers, they tend to attract several people to take them. They are very beneficial for sites that want to increase their social media presence and generate more traffic. So have you ever wondered how these quizzes are made?

BuzzFeeds’s Summer Anne Burton, the mastermind behind the quizzes, stated in The Huffington Post that these quizzes were inspired by women’s magazines before they got on the internet. She also stated that they have a longer life on the internet as opposed to your regular posts as people like to keep going back to them.

How they are made

There are two types of quizzes that are most common: the Personality Quiz and the Scored Quiz. It is pretty straightforward. Take, for example, “Which Hogwarts house you belong to?” The Personality Quiz would simply tell you which house you’re sorted into based on the questions you answered. On the other hand, the Scored Quiz would score your personality on certain score-based answers. In this case, drawing from this example, your result would be something along the lines that you are “90 percent Slytherin”. Based on these two types, quizzes are made based on various topics.

The first step in making Personality Quizzes is the last step: the results. This is the answer to the quiz you get at the end. Create the results with a photo and some text. For example, you write down all four Hogwarts houses and write some character traits to them. After the results, you create the questions with several numbers of answers, and to each of these you assign a personality type. With every answer to a question, each personality type gets a point. At the end of the quiz, your result is decided based on the personality type with the most number of points.

With Scored Quizzes, it is simpler. They closely resemble the multiple choice tests you took in school. The scoring is less complicated compared to that of the Personality Quizzes. Every question has one correct answer from the given choices. Each result gets a point for every correct answer, and based on this the final result is formulated. Once these quizzes are created, they are embedded onto a page in the form of HTML code. This involves some backend work with coding that makes it appear in between text.

Why do quizzes go viral?

In an article in Mashable, Melissa Rosenthal, Director of Creative Services at BuzzFeed, states that people tend to keep taking quizzes once they start. “People love to share things that kind of represent who they are and say something about who they are,” she adds. This is quite true. People tend to share these results and end up having a domino effect when other people do the same. Banking on this, most marketers and creative editors create quizzes that are topical and relevant to that particular time.

Quizzes can range between anything serious or funny, but what seems to work best is tapping into a certain fandom. Any quiz that is particular to a movie, video game, or TV show tends to draw the most attention. Most of these quizzes also happen to be sponsored content, that is, they are content that is promoted by a certain organization or company. There seems to be great potential in marketing through quizzes.

So the next time you take a quiz on Facebook or BuzzFeed, you’ll know how they are structured. No matter, taking quizzes are recreational and fun, and turn out to balance some give and take between marketers and consumers.

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