Looking Back On The Harlem Shake: Postmortem of a Video Craze

Looking Back On The Harlem Shake: Postmortem of a Video Craze

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Now that it’s pretty much jumped the shark, save for a few more horrifyingly bad versions that will no doubt surface throughout the rest of 2013, it’s kind of fun to look back on the impact that the Harlem Shake video has had on the world of the internet.

Although it seems like it’s been around for ever, the planet’s most annoying dance craze only went stratospheric at the beginning of last month. Why? Well, as a collective audience, we haven’t just watched the Harlem Shake video, we have reproduced it ourselves thousands of times in thousands of settings. (I say we, ReelSEO never actually got around to doing one and I guess it’s far too late now. Oh well).

The formula is very easy to replicate, you just need a handful of loose limbed friends, some props, a point and shoot camera and a YouTube account and ta da, you’re an actual part of the biggest meme around. As user generated content goes, it’s hard to find a better example. Mad Decent, the label behind the dance track by Trap DJ Baauer (still #1 in the Billboard Top 100 at time of writing) have licensed the track on YouTube’s Content ID system in a bid to capitalise on the 12000+ Shake videos currently on the site.

A big thanks to the bods at YTD for the following graphic that covers a crazy month in the life of a YouTube sensation:

harlem-shake-infographic-600

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