It's too soon to tell if the various bizarre 30-second versions of "Harlem Shake" have what it takes to be 2013's answer to "Gangnam Style."
But to the delight of everyone who enjoys getting jiggy in dorm rooms
and offices, the Harlem Shake meme has taken off fast enough to get some
serious credit from the powers that be at YouTube itself.
In a post titled "The Harlem Shake is Exploding,"
YouTube trends manager Kevin Allocca reveals that more than 12,000
Harlem Shake videos had been uploaded by close of business Monday.
Collectively, they have been watched more than 44 million times in a
This chart showing the frequency of those uploads gives you a sense of how fast the meme is taking off:
A quick guide for the baffled: Harlem Shake videos all follow the
script of one person, often in a helmet, dancing alone in a room full of
bored-looking people. Then, as the beat kicks in on Baauer's "Harlem Shake," we smash cut to the entire room going nuts in the most ridiculous ways possible.
Clearly, part of the success of the videos can be attributed to the
anticipation of that breakout moment. Another reason: The videos are so
short, you can easily consume a dozen of them in a ten-minute lunch
Curiously, this is one example of a meme where the progenitor of the first video — a video blogger called Filthy Frank — isn't the most-viewed, though it has gained a respectable 2.6 million views.
As Allocca points out, the winner thus far is this version from the staff of Maker Studios (itself a response to a College Humor version). The Maker video just topped 6 million views.
"While it could have just remained a college-kid fad, Maker's version
helped signal that the trend was something any organization or office
could be a part of," Allocca writes.
Does this meme have the longevity of a "Gangnam Style"? Or is it a flash in the pan? Let us know in the comments.
Edited by Random Thoughts - Feb 13 2013 at 12:42am