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Riley Bell, the creator behind the Instagram account @memequeen. Photo: Riley Bell

Why Static Video Memes Are All Over Instagram

Photo: Riley Bell, the creator behind the Instagram account @memequeen. Photo: Riley Bell

A quirky form of video posts has taken over Instagram, the consequence of Meta Platforms’ recent push to prioritize Reels and other videos on its Facebook and Instagram apps as it counters the rise of rival TikTok. I’m dubbing this creator growth hack the static video meme. 

Here’s how it works: Creators who run photo-focused accounts, such as meme pages, have realized they’re likely to get more views of their posts by turning them into ultrashort videos, because the app’s algorithm seems to be prioritizing videos over still images. So instead of just publishing a typical photo meme, such as a screenshot of a tweet or an image overlaid with some words, the creators take a video of that same image that lasts about a second. To the user, the experience is akin to looking at a static image. But to the app, it seems to count as a video. (See example here). 

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