Friday, September 17, 2021

text memes are taking over instagram

by Taylor Lorenzhandjob The New York Times Company

LOS ANGELES — Last month, singer Courtney Love, who keeps a keen eye on social media trends, posted a cryptic message on Instagram.

“Many people don’t understand Gen-Z,” she wrote. “I think they’re funnier than any other generation I’ve ever known.”

Together Love’s Instagram post was a blurry picture of herself and a gallery of disjointed and messy screen-shot memes at random photos, filled with nonsensical text. Love scoffed at several accounts that had posted this type of content and on Wednesday highlighted even more of them, saying it “made her think in memes.”

Luv was copying and praising a social media post of sorts, which is now doing the rounds on Instagram. This style of posting involves people – usually young people – publishing low-quality images, videos or comments online. On Instagram, this means clogging people’s feeds with indiscriminate content, often accompanied by humorous or confessional remarks.

The growing ecosystem of Instagram accounts has embraced this text-heavy posting style, which has exploded in popularity among Gen Z users during the pandemic. The trend has transformed Instagram, the Facebook-owned photo and video-based app, into a network of microblogs and a destination for written expression.

Many of these Instagram accounts, with absurd names like @ripclairo, @botoxqueen.1968 and @carti_xcx, may seem disorganized to the casual observer. Yet there are similarities in the accounts. Nearly all feature screenshots of text on top of photos, created using the anonymous confession app Whisper, or Instagram’s “Create” mode, which lets people design text posts over gradient backgrounds. The posts are also mixed with uncredited images, viral videos and humorous content.

“You just post your thoughts,” said 20-year-old Mia Morongel, creator of the @lifes.a.bender Instagram account, which has more than 134,000 followers. “It’s like Twitter, but for Instagram. It’s like a blog where you’re broadcasting personal thoughts and feelings.”

Over the years, Twitter served the same purpose, repackaging and reposting the most engaging tweets by meme accounts and influencers on Instagram. Recognizing this change, Twitter launched its own Instagram account in 2017 to make it easier for users to easily share Tweets as Instagram Stories.

But Twitter posts have a limit of 280 characters. And for Gen Z users, combining text, tools like the Whisper app and Instagram create mode have blended into a viral alchemy that resonates with their age group.

Faris Ibrahim, 18, who posted this style on his Instagram page @puddle_boot, said: “If you see someone following a meme page where they usually post tweets , so they have a distinct sense of humour, which Gen Z considers cool.” .

text memes are taking over instagram
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