What Makes Memes Popular? The Science of Memes

What Makes Memes Popular? The Science of Memes

Can we analyze language to determine whether a meme will become popular? Yes. You mad, bro?

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That's cool I guess. Sounds like something that will be applied to a new type of marketing. Can't say that makes me happy.

Good to see that colleges are still pursuing deep intellectual thought. /s

Humm never saw the banana for scale meme, but saw "does this look like the face of mercy" a few time.

And yet it never explained grumpy cat, who is archetypally an image and not word-based....

Welp, we've finally invented robots that can shitpost on 4chan. Humanity is truly no longer needed.

Is this memes? I can't tell.

Not even memes are safe from science now. what do i got left, the upstairs management?

Its cool that memes can actually be predicted, but it takes so much fun out of it since meme spread always seems more like luck than anything else.

And yet it never explained grumpy cat, who is archetypally an image and not word-based....

the meme is "grumpy cat", two words. the image, while popular, was never the limiting factor for the meme. for example this comic

This is some interesting research, though it doesn't delve into the image-based side of memes, which can be just as important. At least it's my experience as someone who spends time on 9gag (don't judge me!) that the perfect combination of text and image is what gives a meme longevity. The two memes used in the image galleries used in this article are perfect examples of memes that have been around for ages, and pop up again every once in a while, because they can be understood intuitively, even when seen for the first time, and can adapt to a lot of different versions of the same sentiment. Still, a fascinating topic, and it was nice to get an in-depth report on something like this in the "Science" section of the Escapist, rather than the short and pretty inaccurate click-bait pieces we often get.

Personally, as the article mentions, I hope they don't figure out how to generate memes dynamically, or you better believe they will be milked by marketing companies and government propaganda to their absolute maximum. They don't need another tool to influence public opinion.

That was informative, fun and well written.

I hope you write more articles for this section.


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