There’s no doubt that Upworthy, the progressive media-sharing site created by MoveOn founder Eli Pariser, has done well for itself. According to Upworthy editorial director Sara Critchfield, the site’s astronomical growth to 8.7 million unique visitors a month in its first half-year makes it one of the fastest-growing media enterprises of all time. It raised $8 million in funding a few weeks ago.
Part of Upworthy’s appeal is that it functions as an alternative to the dull hedonism of Buzzfeed-like listicles by offering clickbait that bursts at the seams with hope and goodwill. But the site requires readers to have more than just liberal politics and a desire for a good cry. If you venture down the Upworthy rabbit hole, you also have to be willing to look past the site’s chipper, borderline manic headlines, which parody Twitter account @UpWorthIt began poking fun at earlier this month.
So far, @UpWorthIt is doing an incredible job. At just a couple of weeks old, the parody account has some 2,600 followers, as well as 70 tweets that could easily be mistaken for real Upworthy headlines. More importantly, @UpWorthIt delivers another powerful kind of progressive catnip that Upworthy often overlooks: Satire.
It's a great addition to publication-mocking Twitter genre, already so amply filled by The Times Is On It, HuffPo Spoilers, and--of course--a new account making fun of us here at Fast Company. You should also check out the replies, where Upworthy editor-at-large Adam Mordecai seems to be critiquing nearly all the @upworthit jokes as if they were real Upworthy headlines (and letting people in on some of their clickable secrets):
So, can you tell the difference between @UpWorthIt and Upworthy? Try the quiz above.