Text Memes Take Over Instagram


LOS ANGELES – Last month, singer Courtney Love, who closely follows social media trends, posted a cryptic message on Instagram.

“A lot of people don’t understand Gen-Z” Wrote. “I think they’re funnier than any other generation I know.”

Accompanying Ms. Love’s Instagram post was a gallery of irrelevant and messy screenshot memes filled with a blurry photo of herself and gibberish text superimposed on random photos. Ms. Love gave a shout-out to several accounts that posted such content and highlighted more on Wednesday, saying, “got him thinking in memes

Ms. Love was faking and complimenting some kind of social media post now circulating on Instagram. Known in Internet slang as shit posting, this style of posting involves people. posting low-quality images, videos or comments online. What this means on Instagram blocking people’s posts Seems like indiscriminate content, often accompanied by humorous or confessional comments.

A growing ecosystem of Instagram accounts has embraced it text-heavy posting styleexploding in popularity among Gen Z users during the pandemic. The trend has turned Facebook-owned photo and video-based app Instagram into a network of microblogs and a destination for written expression.

Most of these Instagram accounts with absurd names like @ripclairo, @botoxqueen.1968 and @carti_xcxmay seem haphazard to the casual observer. Still, there are similarities between the accounts. Anonymous confession app Whisper or Instagram features screenshots of text on top of almost any photo, made using the “Create” mode that allows people to design text captions on gradient backgrounds. The posts are also interspersed with unnamed images, viral videos, and humorous content.

“Just broadcast your thoughts,” said 20-year-old Mia Morongell. @lifes.a.bender Instagram account with more than 134,000 followers. “Like Twitter but for Instagram. It’s like a blog where you post your personal thoughts and feelings.”

Twitter has served this purpose for years, with the most engaging tweets repackaged and reposted by meme accounts and influencers on Instagram. twitter, recognize this change, started own Instagram account in 2017 and made it easier users to easily share tweets As Instagram Stories.

However, Twitter posts have a 280 character limit. And for Gen Z users, tools like the text combination, Whisper app, and Create Instagram mode came together in a viral alchemy that resonated with their age group.

“If you see someone following a meme page they usually tweet about, they have a different sense of humor than what Gen Z sees as cool,” said 18-year-old Faris İbrahim, who made posts like this on his Instagram page. @puddle_boot.

In a recent post, Tanisha Chetty, 15, who runs her Instagram page @life.is.not.a.soup, sent a picture A mattress in a graffiti covered room. Above it was the message in bold black and white text: “We should place less emphasis on mental assistance. Girl, go crazy! You’re valid.” While the page only had 5,644 followers, the post received nearly 30,000 likes and thousands of comments.

Amanda Brennan, senior director of trends and meme librarian at XX Artists, a social media agency, said these pages have increased during the pandemic as teens take to Instagram to express their innermost identities and search for connections. “They represent very well the young people who had to communicate last year only over the internet,” he said.

The number of followers increased for the creators who adopted this post style. Page @on_a_downward_spiral The account has doubled in the last six months to nearly half a million followers. @joan.of.arca According to Instagram data, it has increased by 250 percent in the last two months and reached 14,100 followers.

Installations of Whisper, the app that popped up about five years ago It has also made the leap as a way for people to share their secrets anonymously, according to analytics firm SensorTower.

For Instagram, the transition has been a boon for younger users as it duels with short-form video app TikTok. While TikTok has introduced many memes into popular culture, newer memes – such as “kerosene lamp, gatekeeper, girl boss”, a phrase meant to be fun in millennial culture – gained early popularity on text-heavy Instagram pages before going mainstream on TikTok.

“Instagram Create mode posts are definitely the stuff for people aged 18-23 right now,” said Shaden Ahadi, 21, who co-manages the Instagram account. @mybloodyvirginia with a few friends. “People who are regular TikTok users use Instagram more.”

Users said that the transition to text-heavy memes on Instagram started about a year ago.

In the first throes of the pandemic last summer, screenshots of people’s overly serious Facebook status updates became popular on their meme accounts, which made fun of them. But many young users said they don’t like logging into Facebook to create or find status updates.

Instead, some have turned to the Whisper app, which allows anyone to quickly text over an image that can be automatically generated or loaded from your phone. Others have used Instagram’s Compose mode tools that make it easy to make a text post in a few clicks. An extra layer of humor and irony was allowed, paired with confessional, overly personal messages, seemingly unrelated imagery.

“The mismatch between the photo and the text in Whisper is tempting,” said 19-year-old Anna Mariani, one of the co-directors of the Instagram page. @bu.ve.a.blaernt.

Whisper did not respond to requests for comment.

Ricky Sans, strategic associate manager for memes at Instagram, said that Create mode tools aren’t made for text-heavy memes, but “we like to see creativity to reinterpret a tool to aid expression and communication.”

Still, some meme creators said that Instagram didn’t exist as their pages became more popular. Jackie Kendall, 20, said she had two meme accounts banned by the app – she wasn’t told why – and is appealing a third ban.

“I couldn’t tell if Instagram crashed really hard or if people were targeting my posts and reporting them,” he said. “I think Instagram should do a much better job of understanding and communicating with meme pages.”

The relationship between meme creators and Instagram has long been strained. Instagram meme creators tried in 2019 unionize forcing the company to better handle support requests and issues such as prohibits. (Mr. Sans was hired that year.)

on Instagram in April held the ‘breast summit’. Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, answered questions from the creators. Still, several popular text-heavy meme pages said they’ve since heard from the company, despite efforts to contact the platform.

“We hear and understand their concerns and aim to partner with as many meme creators as possible to ensure they receive quality support,” Instagram said in a statement.

Many text-heavy meme creators said they got together to support each other.

“We have meme families,” said Misha Takeo, 16, who runs the @kawaiicuteidols account. Established creators known as “slacking parents” create networks where they mentor and repost and tag smaller creators known as “slacking babies”.

Some users have also created their own audience from clever comments under posts on their meme page. Known as mega commenters, they contributed to the virality of meme pages in Instagram’s feed algorithm.

Nate RobbinThe 20-year-old, a college student in Florida, said she’s been commenting on text-heavy memes on Instagram for eight months and always gets the best comments on posts by “the biggest players in every community.” He called himself the “niche internet micro-celebrity of the ironic posting community.”

Mr. Robbin was the first to comment on Ms. Love’s latest Instagram post referring to this community. I said, ‘The nurse is doing the same thing again. “A good comment can not only increase engagement with a post, it can also add to the joke itself and make the post as a whole funnier.”

Your comment has more than 3,000 likes.

Meme librarian Ms. Brennan said Instagram is reminiscent of the early years of the rise of text-heavy meme pages. TumblrBlogging platform popular in the late 2000s and early 2010s.

“Gen Z is reinventing and updating the old internet,” he said.


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