After Neknominate took the nation by storm and the ice bucket challenge replicated its success and then some, a new viral campaign has emerged on Facebook in the shape of our first profile pictures.
On February 4 Facebook will turn 11 years-old, which means that we have been socially active on the network for just long enough to tap the vast resource that is nostalgia. TimeHop has already reaped the rewards from digging up old photos and posts in a sort of digital flick through of the photo albums. It evokes the usual, “aww that was a nice trip”, “that was a good night out” or in most cases, “I can’t believe I did/ said that” or “what was I thinking wearing my hair like that”. People are then encouraged to share their photos with friends with comments along the lines of “can you believe that was us” and some sort of bewildered expression of shock at how time flies as we all take daily trips down memory lane.
And now there’s a viral campaign under way that is proving popular amongst nostalgia-crazed Millennials who are encouraged to dig out their first profile picture and share, passing on the nomination to three of their mates once they’ve recovered from the blushes of their not-so-glamorous younger self. But what separates this latest campaign from others is that it seems as though it isn’t affiliated with an organisation. Unlike the no makeup selfies that were posted on Facebook and Twitter to help raise awareness for breast cancer and the ice bucket drenching that was conducted in aid of several charities (in the end), the first profile pic campaign seems to be more akin to Neknominate, which was a people-driven campaign.
Of course, as we experienced with the Ice Bucket challenge this could mean for some organisations that the campaign is still up for grabs. Wateraid made a fair bit of dosh out of the #IceBucketChallenge campaign and that was largely a reactionary move, so don’t be surprised if Tesco Photo starts branding it or charities jump on the bandwagon with a five digit text number. But in the early days it’s still worthwhile looking at why our first profile picture has resonated with Facebook users today. Perhaps its nostalgia, perhaps its just the next thing and people want to get involved.
Either way, I feel the first waves of a viral movement being swept through my timeline.