Social media channels were flooded with a large number of amusing, entertaining, and annoying photos and videos recently. But have you ever wondered, where these `viral’ matters started and what they mean?
It was the #makeuptransformation trend that initially captured the interest of many social media savvy people. It began as a girl’s guide to a simple makeup application. A sort of tutorial that quickly turned to comedy, and got so much online interest. With lots of creativity and humour added, the #makeuptransformation turned out to be a hilarious, bizarre, and an attractive online craze.
The #makeuptransformation collage has four phases. The first three pictures demonstrate the preparation, while the last picture shows the final result. Lots of social media users, particularly in the Philippines, and even some local celebrities, hopped onto this social media trend. They spent time and exerted effort reinventing themselves by adding blushes, lipstick, powder, and of course, a lot of humour.
Soon after the #makeuptransformation trend was the #ALSicebucketchallenge. This challenge is aiming to create awareness and raise funds for The Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) Association. ALS is a disease of the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, which control voluntary muscle movement. Once the nerve cells die, it can no longer send messages to the muscles leading to weakness, or worst is the inability to move. The disease is also known as Lou Gehrig's disease.
This online phenomenon spread quickly across the globe over the past four weeks due to huge attention from traditional and social media, and widespread celebrity involvement. The challenge is quite simple. After being nominated online to do the challenge, a participant has to record a video of herself/himself announcing her/his acceptance of the challenge. Within 24 hours, a bucket of water and ice should be lifted and poured over the participant's head. After doing the challenge, the participant can then nominate someone to do the same. The nomination process helped a lot to prolong its exposure and broaden its reach.
The #makeuptransformation got 24,942 online buzz in Southeast Asia from August 1 - 31, while #ALSicebucketchallenge gained 97,650.
In terms of tweets, the #makeuptransformation reached its peak on August 11, while #ALSicebucketchallenge had its peak on August 20. However, unlike the #makeuptransformation which dropped immediately the following day, #ALSicebucketchallenge continued to get lots of buzz due to the nomination process.
The buzz cluster from the Philippines showed how big these viral trends are considered. But not everyone is buying these viral phenomena. Some commentators have expressed annoyance already, whereas others have criticized people who joined the fad, even without the basic information what the bandwagon is all about.