On January 4 an Instagram account titled “World Record Egg” uploaded an egg picture and wrote the following: “Let’s set a world record together and get the most likes in an Instagram post, surpassing the current owner of the record, Kyle Jenner (18 million). ” Ten days later, goal fulfilled: the egg, a simple plain egg extracted from a bank of Internet images, adds 25 million likes.
How? Hiding the attention of many people. The egg does not have anything special: it is flesh-colored, has some brown specks and poses on a white background (somewhat pixelated). At all times, the grace has been to subvert the viral and organic rules of Instagram. An exercise of collective self-affirmation through a stock photograph. Last night it added 15 million. In a few hours he has added another ten.
Why? Because if. The account has no more content (stories repeating the memes that have been generated throughout the network), despite the fact that its author, still mysterious, now says that “we are just beginning.” What began as an essay on the dynamics of “like” has become an identity exercise: the name of the account is already “Egg Gang”, and its followers populate the networks signing with the hashtag #EggSoldiers.
The loser. It’s Kyle Jenner. In February of last year he raised a cute photo holding the hand of his newborn daughter. The virality of his figure caused him to burst the “world record” of likes, marked by Cristiano Ronaldo in November (11 million). Since then neither the marriage announcement of Justin Bieber nor the last photo of the controversial rapper XXXTentacion before his death had overshadowed him.
Until the egg arrived.
It is normal. On occasion, the Internet behaves like a collective intelligence capable of trivializing any type of historical metric. It happened on Twitter.
In 2017, a 16-year-old teenager asked a fried chicken chain how many retweets he would need to get a whole year of free fried chicken. “18 million,” answered Wendy’s, the company in question. To this day the kid has only got 3 million and a half. Enough to hold the record of retweets for months. This January, a Japanese businessman surpassed him (5 million) offering money to his first 100 retweets.
Fifteen minutes. Two massive social networks, two (almost) records propelled by anonymous figures and without major transcendence that its viral character. It is almost a declaration of autonomy on the part of Internet, of all of us: the dictatorship of the algorithm has its limits. At any time, collective intelligence can overcome it.