Have you ever been stuck in that one awkward moment, that you could not express in words or emotions…BUT you can picture the perfect meme that would do the talking for you? If only it were that easy…Memes have infiltrated our vocabulary since the beginning of social media and will continue to be serving up laughs when we grow old and grey. The term “meme” made its first steps on the internet in a Wired 1993 issue, and was defined as “an infectious idea… much as viruses leap from body to body.” Ah, yes! A beautiful comparison, in the best way a virus-comparison can go. By 2012, the word “meme” skyrocketed and became an additional form of communication, (as if communication isn’t too indirect already).
No task is too small for the almighty Facebook, and the meme-creation business has been their new target. They have released an app called Whale, which allows users to upload and edit your own pictures or use stock photos to create a personalized meme. Facebook’s New Product Experimentation team is credited with creating this app, as a way to diversify the social media brand into new faucets of social content.
When you open the app, you are prompted with your camera roll and the ability to upload any picture you want. There are over 90 stock photos you can choose from, surprisingly, many of them are related to watermelons (weird flex but OK). After selecting the photo, you can select images, emojis, and personalized text. You can customize the color of your text, size, font, and even doodle. Who doesn’t love a good doodle? Whale meets all the requirements of a snazzy meme generator, and more!
Facebook comes face to face with the end-all-be-all with the millennial entertainment: TikTok. The video-focused social media app allows for the sharing of memes intertwined in user-created videos. One of Facebook’s motivations behind creating Whale was to capture Gen Z and bring them towards using Facebook’s product. With most of Gen Z on TikTok, Whale encourages these guys to leave the mainstream Tok’ers, and come over the new side. Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg has been on TikTok’s tail from the beginning, as he raised concerns about censorship of criticism of the Chinese government. U.S. officials are also investigating connections between ByteDance’s link to Beijing.
|User-created content||User-created content|
|Personalized editing||Personalized editing|
|“Still” memes||Can add personal music|
|Can share memes straight from the app||Social media entity|
|Can use templates||Original content|
Facebook’s Whale app enters a competitive environment:
- MemeFactory makes all the steps of how to make a meme extremely easy. It offers templates and allows you to add text and adjust the font size and positioning. The app also allows others to “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” your meme.
- Imgur MemeGen specializes in templates, with over 135,000 to choose from.
- Meme Maker is unique because of its ability to pull personal photos and create a specialized meme.
- Memedroid allows for more interaction between meme creators, as you can comment and “like” each other’s memes.
As mentioned before, no task is too small for Facebook. The company is continuing to grow in e-commerce, communication, networking, and now meme creation. Everyone stay tuned to see what comes next!