If you’ve been on Twitter at all lately you’re probably at least vaguely familiar with #LessAmbitiousMovies, which is a hashtag that dominated Monday night in what we thought was record time, judging by the fact that it seemed like our entire Twitter stream was at some point saturated with not so ambitious film titles.
Now the folks at Backtype (who track Twitter data) have provided us with more concrete stats on the meme, combing the hashtags #lessambitiousmovies, #lessambitiousmovie, #lessambitiousfilms or #lessambitiouscinema to come up with some pretty awesome data including the agent zero of the tweet, artist @Rob_McCallum and the tweet that started it all.
According to Backtype, McCallum sent this tweet out at 10pm PST on January 3rd and it then took approximately 15 hours for things to take off. Some of the credit for the virality goes to Greg Hemphill whose 3000 followers triggered increased participation.
Backtype defines the reach of a piece of content (a tweet, hashtag etc) on Twitter as “the maximum number of unique Twitter users’ timelines the tweets appeared in.” Total damage by the tail end of #lessambitiousmovies? 364K tweets using a related hashtag, from 81K Twitter users tweeting out an average of 4.5 less ambitious movies per user.
While not all Twitter accounts are necessarily active and many users may not have been logged in at the time, it’s still pretty crazy spread for something so random. When asked if this was the most popular Twitter hashtag ever, Backtype CEO Christopher Golda said that usually a hashtagasm like this one is centered around an event like the World Cup and wouldn’t be organic, “300,000,000+ impressions on Twitter is an impressive feat.”
The most popular tweet earned that distinction primary because it was retweeted by Katy Perry and reached her 5.2 million followers.
And the runners up were:
One thing people mentioned was the prevalence of repeat tweets (I think I even tweeted out #5 “Apocalypse Whenever,” thinking I was being totally original. Perhaps if anything we learned that we are less creative (and less funny) then we think we are.
At the post’s peak at 8pm PST, which TechCrunch contributed to (see above), 17 less ambitious movies were being sent out per second. It took 27 hours for the meme to die out after that, even though it’s still alive in our hearts.
In fact I think I’ll tweet one out right now, for old meme’s sake.