It happened a few months ago with Gangham Style. I heard about it from a colleague in the office. Then all of a sudden I just couldn’t escape it. That same weekend I went out with some friends. Every club played Gangnam Style repeatedly. I was in Barcelona. A couple weeks later I was in the countryside in France. It was happening in Miami, New York, and London. The video had taken on a life of its own and there was no stopping it. Gangnam Style was everwhere. Our children seemed addicted to the video and never seem to get tired of watching it. It took off like a tsunami. Six months after the video was upload it achieved over 1 billion views, a new record for Youtube. If you put this in context, it took Facebook 7 years to reach to a billion users. All of a sudden Psy, the Korean rapper that did the video was know by everyone and was touring with Madonna. The Gangnam style have since leaped into ubiquity. Presidents and Prime Ministers across the globe have been reported to have been seen in public or private getting their Gangnam Style on.
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I’m feeling a little deja vu this week. Buzz is whenever you keep hearing about something and you just can’t avoid it. This time it’s the Harlem Shake. It’s on Facebook, headline news, videos, everywhere. Everyone is talking about it in the social media sphere and I keep running across this everywhere. Videos of people doing the Harlem Shake(not the original one) is popping up everywhere on youtube.
What’s insane about this is the amount of views these videos are getting. Here are some of the actual numbers from Youtube as of today for the top Harlem Shake videos
TOP 10 – BEST HARLEM SHAKE VERSIONS Ruben Alencastre, 21,071,150 views
Harlem Shake (original army edition) , Kenneth Håkonsen, 42,124,075 views
Harlem Shake v3 (office edition), hiimrawn, 24,549,305
UGA Men’s Swim & Dive Harlem Shake, GeorgiaMens SwimmingDiving, 29,346,143
Harlem Shake Miami HEAT Edition, miamiheat, 9,775,173
Baauer – Harlem Shake (HQ Full Version), fungmungus, 21,523,958
Total 158,818,487 views
They are videos of crazy people doing their own rendition of the Harlem Shake. People are doing the Harlem Shake under water, The Colorado College Frisbee team is being investigated by the FAA for doing the Harlem Shake 30,000 feet in the air in an airplane, according to Access to Hollywood. Even the Miami Heat has gotten their Harlem Shake on with LeBron James leading the team. What’s crazy about the huge numbers of views these videos get is that this all seemed to start about 2 weeks ago in the middle of February 2013. So the views listed above were all done within 2 weeks. I’ve only listed the top videos, there are really a lot more. They even have a post in Wikipedia already. I think you will be seeing a lot more of this viral phenomenon in the coming weeks.
We will keep an eye on this to see how close it will get to Gangnam Style. But what do you think? Will Harlem Shake unseat Gangnam Style as the top Youtube video of all time? Is this a new trend that will change the way we approach social media? Share your thoughts.
Rohan Hall is the author of Stop Working, a book that teaches entrepreneurs how to use technology and partnerships to build a global businesses. He is the founder and CEO of Cool Mojito a social media company, and rSitez a leading provider of social networking software. He blogs at blog.coolmojito.com.