Thanks to one Redditor's weekend project, the internet now has a destination to track GIFs as they go viral on Twitter.
Aptly named GIFHELL, the site shows both the most tweeted GIFs on Twitter at a given time as well as the most popular, based on number of tweets since the GIF's first detection. The result is a mesmerizing (and at times nauseating) peek at what's popular in that specific moment as well as the quick-burn lifecycle of most pop culture GIFs.
Though Tumblr tends to be the social network most commonly associated with the GIF resurgence of the past few years, it's harder to get any real-time sense of what's "trending" without searching through curated GIF tags or following a slew of popular and frequently updated blogs.
Like Imgur's real-time upload page or the fascinating Vinepeek, these unfiltered streams are a chance to try and pick a quick signal out of the overwhelming noise of the social cascade. In this case, it would seem that the virality of a GIF on Twitter has little to do with size or quality, and everything to do with timing — nearly all the GIFs are snippets taken from last night's VMAs, heartthrobs, and porn.
Charlie Warzel is a senior writer for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York. Warzel reports on and writes about the intersection of tech and culture.
Contact Charlie Warzel at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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