— Katie Zilcosky (@kazilcos) November 29, 2016
For those who live under a rock, the Mannequin Challenge has become a viral movement that ironically doesn’t involve any movement. Those who have participated in the challenge stay completely still while Rae Sremmurd’s song “Black Beatles” plays in the background. Some people have adapted the idea to other songs or to no music at all.
After seeing various posts of the #MannequinChallenge on social media, we decided to analyze the hashtag using Sysomos. In doing so, we were able to see the ups and downs of this recent trend. Under the Twitter spike analysis graph on Sysomos, the highest burst of popularity happened on November 7th, the day before elections. We thought this was interesting to note in our video, especially since two days after the number of mentions decreased from over 600,000 to 200,000. In our research, we found many celebrities, athletes, and students alike have posted their version of the #MannequinChallenge. On November 17th a total of 5.2 million tweets had mentioned the hashtag, and we suspect that number has increased due to the holiday season.
#School is a popular hashtag associated with the Mannequin Challenge because many young students are participating in the challenge. Although older people have taken part, the majority of participants have been younger generations that are typically still in school. Many challenges have been completed at schools around the world, so this is why that hashtag is popular among participants.
Another popular hashtag is #tears. When a person tweets out #tears, it means something is extremely funny. Many times, it is associated with the emoji that mimics a person crying of laughter 😂. Many Mannequin Challenges are quite funny because of the people that are in them or the poses that they are holding – for example, dogs. This is the reason why #tears is one of the top trending hashtags associated with the challenge.
Paul McCartney, singer-songwriter best known for his worldwide fame with The Beatles, tweeted out a video of himself performing the Mannequin Challenge on Twitter with Rae Sremmurd’s song “Black Beatles” playing in the background. His tweet received 82,306 retweets and 138,461 likes. Although many A-list celebrities took part in the challenge, Paul McCartney received a large number of likes because of the irony that he was a true Beatle and the song most closely associated with the challenge is called “Black Beatles.”
Hillary Clinton also took part in the Mannequin Challenge and posted it on Election Day 2016, which was November 8th. She posted the video as a fun way to get people to the polls to vote. The tweet received 55,774 retweets and 96,037 likes. She completed the challenge on an airplane with her campaign team and burst out in cheers after they successfully completed the challenge.