YouTube users may be asking themselves “What the heck is the Harlem Shake?” lately. While we’re still not entirely sure ourselves, the viral successor to 2013’s “Gangnam Style” and “Call Me Maybe” is seeing a deluge of tribute clips being uploaded in a relatively short period of time.
How big is the deluge, you ask? About 4,000 “Harlem Shake” videos. Per day.
YouTube has released a chart showing just how massive this new viral video trend is. YouTube Trends’ Kevin Allocca:
“As of the 11th, around 12,000 ‘Harlem Shake’ videos had been posted since the start of the month and they’d already been watched upwards of 44 million times. As you can see in the chart below, over 4,000 of these videos are being uploaded per day and that number is still likely on the rise.”
Let’s absorb that truth for a moment: 4,000 videos a day. Considering average video length, that’s 33 hours of the “Harlem Shake” every single day, making it “literally humanly impossible to watch every single one of them,” notes the Social Times.
So why is “Harlem Shake” so viral-friendly? My guess is that it mostly has to do with production value and length. “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style” saw a number of clones, but the ones that got the most traction were pretty well choreographed and boasted decently high production quality. The length is another issue. No one wants to watch you lip sync “Call Me Maybe” or perform a horse dance for just shy of four minutes. But the “Harlem Shake” is only about 30 seconds long, and requires very little actual talent to pull off.
That’s not an insult to the people who make these videos. The nature of the “Harlem Shake” just doesn’t require you to do anything but look silly and crunk like a madwoman for 15 seconds of the 30.
Lastly, what about the original “Harlem Shake?” That’s harder to quantify (but not too much harder, we’re pretty good at this). The original dance actually came to be back in the 80s. The latest version, which you hear in the background of every “Harlem Shake” video, is a more recent electronic/dance track by Brooklyn DJ Baauer, which is set to enter the UK singles chart.
The “Harlem Shake” phenomenon is interesting because unlike “Call Me Maybe” and “Gangnam Style,” the deluge of clones has completely overshadowed the original. It’s more of a viral concept that doesn’t have an originator so much as it has inheritors.
However, the guy who started the latest trend isn’t too sore about being lost in the static, according to The Root. Filthy Frank has picked up over 7 million views on his “original” video, and has earned 100,000 new subscribers to his YouTube channel thanks to the “Harlem Shake.”
Here’s Filthy Frank’s “Harlem Shake,” followed by a few we picked out ourselves:
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[iframe src=”http://www.youtube.com/embed/Kx1jTAKEs7g” width=”560″ height=”315″]
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Sports Illustrated swimsuit models:
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UGA Men’s swim team:
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Father and son special:
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The one with the boobs [NSFW]:
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