Facebook timelines are riddled with three things these days: lengthy status updates about American politics, existential crisis-inducing engagement photos, and those damn recipe videos. You know the ones: sped-up videos with an overhead shot of two hands preparing some dish (likely using a lot of cheese or a lot of chocolate—or both) in under a minute as overlaid text explains the basic ingredients and steps. The video trend was started by Buzzfeed’s Tasty vertical, and has since been aped by plenty of content factories. But Tasty remains the most pervasive disseminator of the mini recipe videos, having amassed nearly 50 million Facebook fans since launching in July.
Dayna Evans over at The Cut investigates what makes these Tasty videos so appealing and omnipresent on social media, likening the clips to ASMR. “They tap into the pleasure center of my brain with their mesmerizing simplicity, lack of fussiness, and quick pace. They make cooking seem painless, sedative,” Evans writes. It helps, too, that these videos usually autoplay on Facebook, not really giving people a choice as to whether they want to see eggs rapidly beaten or not. Evans also swan dives into the commenting culture of Tasty clips. People have a lot to say about Greek yogurt veggie dip!