What could a new memes platform mean for retail?
While shopping trips with my now adult children were mercifully few when they were in their later teen years, I clearly remember them snapping photos of clothes and other purchases to share with friends on Instagram, Snapchat and other social media platforms. As I’ve found over the years, social media posts like those made by kids can affect peer perceptions of a given retail chain both for the good and bad.
Hashtags, which are used to categorize content, have become commonplace on most social networks today. Less common, but growing in use are “memes”. Google the term meme and you’ll find it described as “a humorous image, video, piece of text, etc., that is copied (often with slight variations) and spread rapidly by internet users.”
Popular memes — often including photos or videos of cats, in my limited experience — can be found throughout social media. The person posting the meme will typically add their own copy to make a given point. Photos of Gene Wilder playing Willy Wonka, for example, have been used to describe what it’s like for some to work in retail. One includes the character with the copy: “Oh, you’re just looking? Please continue to unfold every shirt I just folded.”
A new social media app called MemeStream has recently launched a content platform that provides users with an easier way to use memes in communicating with others. The app’s users are able to “view, post, and caption photos” for others to see.
MemeStream is the brainchild of Sophia Latessa, the 16-year-old CEO of the company, who raised investment dollars to pursue its development. Today, Ms. Latessa oversees a team of six.
“Memes are important in today’s world because they spread culture and patterns of behavior across borders much faster than was possible in the past,” she said.
“They are an essential way to communicate ideas and culture. No matter your location in the world, certain memes are recognizable, and technology has allowed this to happen,” she added. “MemeStream will facilitate this global conversation further.”
- “Oh, you’re just looking…” – Quickmeme
- 16 Year-Old Female Tech Founder and CEO Launches Social Media Platform MemeStream, the Pop Culture App for Our Time – MemeStream/PR Newswire
- It’s the Millennials’ world – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do memes represent more of a communications opportunity or threat for retail businesses? Do you know of any retailers making good use memes today?