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Twitter Memes: The Secrets of Going Viral Explained


Apr 12, 2024 10 mins read
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If there is one form of content to define the Internet age, Twitter memes take the top spot. Coupled with the character limit, you get a glimpse of why they do so well on the platform. Although they seem simplistic, they’re hard to master when the aim is to be viral.

Today, let’s jump into the world of Twitter memes and understand what makes them tick. Also, the article covers popular formats and why people can’t get enough of them.

A person interacting with a tablet with the icons of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+ and other social media apps.

What Are Twitter Memes?

Starting from step one is a great way to learn more about memes on Twitter. It’s a type of online communication in various formats and tones. It can be anything interesting that spreads from one user to another online. Generally, the medium of communication is social media platforms.

They are hilarious takes on anything you can think of under the sun. It can be something mundane, like cleaning the house, to something as exciting as pop culture. And everything in between.

Images are common types of memes on Twitter. Usually, it consists of static images with small bits of text. It can also be videos and gifs. Memes contain social, political, or cultural commentary. The goal is to talk about a specific current and relevant topic.

A common misconception about memes is that they started with the internet. However, this isn’t true, as there’s the belief it’s been in use for centuries. There isn’t clarity on how far back in history you should see the first meme. But one thing is for sure, Richard Dawkins, an evolutionary biologist and author, is among the first to use this term. He mentioned it in his book “The Selfish Gene” in 1976.

Memes are interesting because of how close it mimics life. Like humans, memes also survive through propagation, but in a different sense. People must keep mentioning them; otherwise, they become forgotten or extinct. Similarly, they only become successful if enough people spread them online. It can be strange to say this, but memes fight for survival in the wild. 

In this scenario, wild is the online world and survival is going viral and becoming popular.

A gold coin with the popular internet doge meme.

Why Are Twitter Memes Popular?

As you scroll through your feed, you’ll see hundreds of memes on Twitter. Why is it so popular? Twitter is a platform where short-form content thrives. It is one of the reasons why memes and Twitter are like Starsky & Hutch.

Unless you subscribe to Twitter Blue, you must stick to the 280-character limit. However, Twitter memes allow you to get around this limitation. These powerful pieces of content stoke strong emotions among users. Remember this phrase, “A picture is worth a thousand words?” Well, memes go above and beyond as it says so much, despite using the fewest words.

For a while, the average attention span of users has been reducing. In 2013, a hashtag was trending for 16.5 hours. However, in 2016, it decreased to 11.9 hours, highlighting the downward trend in attention spans.

As you may already know, there’s endless content on the platform. Everyone is trying their best to get your attention. Despite being constantly engaged and bombarded with content, memes always catch your attention. When you see one, you can’t help but read what it says.

Within a few seconds, you get the gist of the author’s message. In a way, it transcends the platform’s limitations and becomes an effective communication tool.

It brings people together as the content is relevant. You resonate with the message, or you don’t. In a way, it creates a sense of belonging to a community online. There are hordes of Twitter users like you who feel the same way. Or, the author put what you’ve been feeling into words.

A person in a suit with a red graph going up in the background.

What Makes Twitter Memes Good?

Although there are millions of memes on Twitter, why only a handful become viral? For starters, the mark of a good meme is its ability to capture a moment. It brings attention to the situation while highlighting that not everything has to be serious.

Another sign of a good Twitter meme is the ability to get you to share. However, at no point does the content ask you to do so. How often do you hear – like, share and subscribe on YouTube? Now, look at memes on Twitter, and do you see the same message? No, but you feel like sharing one somehow, especially when you resonate with the meme. The true power of memes comes from their ease of shareability.

When millions share the same image, it becomes a part of the culture. It acts as a catalyst by enabling content to go viral. Think about how many songs or TV shows you know of simply because you saw them in a meme. It also explains why everyone is trying to make one.

In a way, it is perfect for social media platforms, especially Twitter. Good memes are like a jingle – once you know it, you can’t get it out of your mind. You can still recollect it even when you think you’ve forgotten about it.

Although there are no wrong ways to use memes, using the correct format is essential. Otherwise, the messaging may not resonate with the audience and go viral. An excellent place to know about memes and their formats is Know Your Meme, a database of all the internet memes.

What Twitter Memes Are Trending Right Now?

Now that you get a gist of memes on Twitter, let’s take a closer look at what’s trending. Although they tend to fade away from users’ attention after a while, they still have a significant impact. Whether you want to create one or share it on your profile, here’s what’s trending currently.

NBA Memes on Twitter

When the NBA conference finals take place, it’s what’s trending in the platform’s sports section. However, only major sporting events don’t need to take center stage. It can be a regular division match, playoff, or anything noteworthy during the game. Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals 2023, LA Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets, is a solid example. Lebron James missed an open layup. The internet made sure he would never forget the moment by making countless NBA memes on Twitter.

Fans and non-fans love this type of content, which is why it tends to trend regularly. They can also be about what happens in the athletes’ lives. Twitter users also take note of crowning and embarrassing moments in their careers. Either way, several NBA stars have acknowledged these Twitter memes. They also enjoy reading them as long as it’s harmless.

A drone shot of a packed stadium between Toronto Raptors and New York Knicks during an NBA game.

Stan Twitter Memes

Celebrities will always be trending, given how much of the spotlight is on them at all times. It also highlights why there’s a growing fandom online. Stan Twitter memes refer to users who tweet content about celebrities. However, they don’t only restrict themselves to stars as they also talk about movies, TV shows, and music.

Generally, the memes on Twitter focus on athletes, singers, rappers, politicians and actors. These users form groups depending on their interests. They want to see people do well in their careers.

Does this mean you can use any Stan Twitter memes? Not really, as you have to understand the community and its nuances. Depending on the group, they use specific words and phrases that only the ardent fans will understand.

A portrait shot of Stan Lee.

Twitter Reaction Memes

There’s nothing like a good Twitter reaction meme. Users post these memes in response to something, like a reply to a tweet. These memes on Twitter use the faces of animals or celebrities with unforgettable expressions. They can use these images to reply to anything on Twitter and show emotions.

For example, In February 2023, Kevin Hart, the comedian and movie star, went viral. Well, it wasn’t for his recent work in the entertainment industry. Instead, it was for users tweeting or posting replies with reaction memes with Kevin Hart. There was zero reason for him to go viral, as it was out of the blue. However, Kevin Hart’s Twitter reaction memes took over the internet for a while.

A camel laughing with its mouth open.

Right To Bear Memes on Twitter

Another popular Internet trend on Twitter is the right-to-bear memes. Usually, they provide political commentary from a conservative point of view. The memes cover various topics, such as the presidential elections and what’s going on in the United States.

These memes break down complex subjects into easy-to-consume content, so they trend frequently. Generally, these memes on Twitter use irony and humor in their political commentary.

Met Gala Twitter Memes

The highly anticipated annual fashion event is ripe for memes on Twitter. Usually, the world joins in to see the latest outfits worn by the biggest stars. After all, it’s one of the biggest events in the fashion industry. Also, the excessive media coverage means you’ll know about it, even if you don’t follow the event.

However, the internet keeps up with the Met Gala for different reasons. Users can’t help but make memes from outfits worn by stars or extraordinary makeup. It can also be outrageous jewelry or pretty much anything else. For example, Pedro Pascal has been all the rage in 2023. It wasn’t much surprise when his outfit at the Met Gala this year went viral.

A face emerges from a milk and fruit loops bath.

In short, several evergreen memes like the NBA and reaction content exist. At the same time, you’ll also notice a trend among these memes. Annual events or anything that is meme-worthy will end up on Twitter. For instance, since his Twitter takeover, Elon Musk has been the center of several memes.

Whether it was for the introduction of Twitter Blue or his take on cryptocurrencies, he’s a master. You can say memes on Elon Musk will always trend, given his position in the company. 

How To Find Memes on Twitter?

There are several ways to find memes on Twitter. The easiest method is to check out what’s trending on the platform. Generally, you’ll find it under the Trending tab in the Explore section. If you want to see more memes, interact with the trending posts. Soon, Twitter will recommend memes under the For You tab in the Explore section.

Another way to find Twitter memes is to follow popular accounts. 9GAG Memeland is a great starting point. Or, you can try something different, like Ancient Memes or The Dark Lord. If you have a favorite genre, look for those memes. Once you start following meme accounts, the platform will recommend similar profiles. The last option is to visit websites like Know Your Meme, Reddit, Imgur, GIPHY or Buzzfeed. They have a collection of the latest memes, making it easy to find ones you like.

Posting and retweeting memes on Twitter is fun. However, not everyone is a fan of all types of memes. Companies will check your social media activity when applying for a public-facing or executive position. Although memes are all about fun, they can misinterpret the post. Rather than waiting to find out, it’s better to remove them from your profile. But what if you have to delete hundreds of posts? With TweetDelete, this won’t be a problem as you can easily find and delete all of them. Make sure your Twitter account looks clean before applying for any role today!


Dee is a tech enthusiast and digital privacy expert at He shares valuable insights and practical advice to help users take control of their digital presence. When not writing, Dee enjoys exploring new technologies and engaging with the online community.

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