On World Social Media Day, we’re reminiscing on the biggest and most viral moments in social media history.
Remember that time we were all arguing on Twitter over what colour THAT dress was? (we say blue and black just FYI). Or when millions of us RSVP’d ‘yes’ on Facebook to storming Area 51?
To celebrate World Social Media Day, we’re remembering the most viral moments each platform has created. Let’s get into it, shall we?
The virality of TikTok
The popularity of TikTok is a bit of a viral moment itself, continuing to hold it’s position at the top of the monthly app download chart. As the world went into lockdown and people were looking to be entertained, we all went wild for TikTok. Today the app has over 689 million monthly active users.
But the app has also created some of the most viral videos in the last few years. Currently, the most viewed TikTok is of creator, Zach King who created the illusion of him flying a broomstick like a Hogwarts student. It has over 2.2 billion views and over 16.5 million likes.
Other honorable mentions include longboarder Nathan Apodaca vibing to Dreams by Fleetwood Mac while drinking a bottle of Ocean Spray cranberry juice, and creator Bella Poarch lip-syncing to M to the B.
The Oscar Selfie
The ‘selfie’ is a staple in the world of social media. An act that has become universally known and almost an involuntary action when we’re out with friends and family, or even on our own. When talking about selfies, one we believe everyone thinks of is Ellen Degeneres’ famous Oscar selfie of 2014, posted to Twitter.
The snap includes a total of 12 A-list celebrities including Bradley Cooper, Lupita Nyong’o, Meryl Streep and Brad Pitt, and was retweeted over 3 million times, making it the most retweeted photo for three years.
Storm Area 51
Staying true to the weird and wacky world that is the internet, Matty Roberts utilised Facebook’s events feature for a rather unique purpose. With a group of Facebook users, he created “Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All Of Us”.
It was a viral Facebook joke that sparked worldwide interest with over 2 million RSVP’s pledging to help Roberts ‘storm Area 51’, a highly classified US Air Force facility located in Nevada. In the end, only 6,000 people turned up and in fact did not ‘storm’ the facility.
Rise and Shine
Kylie Jenner; reality TV star, makeup business owner, model – and singer? When she took us on a tour of her office on YouTube, she unknowingly sparked a viral jingle that she later capitalised on.
When waking her daughter, Stormi up from a nap during her office tour, she blessed us with the tune ‘rise and shine’ which quickly became a viral meme and inspired various remixes and TikTok sounds to surace. Kylie, being the business woman that she is, managed to swiftly trademark the phrase and created hoodies that sold out almost instantly.
What colour was THAT dress?
One of the internet’s biggest disagreements. It tested friendships and divided households. Was the dress blue and black or white and gold? Scientists, news reporters and various celebrities all weighed in on the subject.
Buzzfeed created a poll to help settle the argument. This generated over 37 million views by March 1st 2015, just under a month after the post was originally uploaded to Tumblr on February 26th. On Twitter, the dress was subject to 4.4 million tweets within 24 hours. There wasn’t a social media user safe from the notorious question.
Leave Britney Alone
Chris Crocker was ahead of his time when he created a name for himself through his very emotional ‘Leave Britney Alone!’ YouTube video, also shared to his Myspace page in 2007.
Myspace, which boasted over 200 million accounts at the time, assisted in skyrocketing the video to viral status, practically overnight. Within 4 days the video had been viewed 4 million times. This viral moment has stuck with us since it was published and is a common phrase still referenced today.
The catchy tune and iconic dance moves of Gangnam Style struck a chord with many around the world. The infectious song and its partnering dance video invaded our music charts and dance floors.
It should come as no surprise that the video is still in Youtube’s top 10 trending videos of all time 8 years after it was first published. The video racked in 4 billion views. That is double the user count that YouTube sees monthly.
An egg beats Kylie Jenner
Kylie Jenner is a hot topic when it comes to viral social moments. In February 2018 we saw her post announcing the name of her first daughter, Stormi being crowned the most liked photo on Instagram. But in January 2019, we saw the birth of a different kind.
Eugene the Egg was born with the caption, “Let’s set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. Beating the current world record held by Kylie Jenner (18million)! We got this.” The_world_record_egg’s viral post now has over 55 million likes and turned out to be an advertisement for mental health.
The Harlem Shake
Were you even on the internet in 2013 if you didn’t do The Harlem Shake? YouTuber, Joji posted the first Harlem Shake video that threw the trend into viral status with hundreds of thousands of remakes following.
The trend, which involves a group of people calmly grooving before descending wildly into dance to the song Harlem Shake by Baauer, was so well received that companies like Pepsi created their version of the trend for promotional videos. The song even made it to the top of the music charts and helped the artist sell out a show, based almost entirely on the song’s popularity.
The Mannequin Challenge
Before we had TikTok challenges, internet users had the Mannequin Challenge. Back in November 2016, social media users around the globe participated in the viral challenge that was originally created by high school students in Jacksonville.
From there, the trend made it all the way to the likes of the White House, Hilary Clinton’s plane and countless celebrities. The challenge involves a group of people acting out the most random scenes you could think of, to “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmurd, without actually moving – like a mannequin.
Charlie Bit My Finger
Little did the Davies-Carr family know that once they uploaded a clip of their kids to YouTube (because they weren’t able to email it to relatives) it would become one of the first and most memorable viral videos of all time.
‘Charlie Bit My Finger’ was once named the most viewed video on YouTube. The 56-second clip had over 880 million views before it was recently removed after being sold at auction as an NFT for £538,000. The boys plan to use the money to fund their university education.
Wanting to celebrate more this World Social Media Day? Check out the evolution of social media here: