Tiny Trends: The Aces of Faces

We are born to recognise faces. As babies we constantly search out the faces of surrounding adults, looking to connect with our caregivers. In fact, babies who are just nine minutes old are drawn to human faces, turning their eyes and heads to look at faces more than an abstract pattern.

It’s no surprise then that we like looking at them. Last week, the app rather functionally named as FaceApp became a tiny trend on social. People began sharing collages of themselves gender swapped, aged and with a snazzy smile or baby-faced.

Mr Bean gets the FaceApp treatment

It’s easy to see why the app took social by storm, it tapped into our innate desire to look at faces and was something everybody was easily able to take part in. Not to mention it produced hilarious results!

People like to connect with other people emotionally. Looking at a face is the easiest way to discern how a person is feeling. This is why selfies, gifs and emojis have become the visual language of social. We like to connect with a face, even if it’s just graphic interpretation of a smile.

With a short amount of time to catch someone’s attention on social, a face will always draw a viewer’s attention. This isn’t so much a tiny trend but a reliable tactic for ensuring engagement. Just take a look at some of the social campaigns and platforms who have used the power of faces to their advantage.

#NoMakeUpSelfie Campaign

This campaign wasn’t actually initiated by Cancer Research UK but in 2014 the hashtag #NoMakeUpSelfie spawned a spontaneous social campaign, eventually raising a staggering £8m for the charity.

#DistractinglySexy Response

When Tim Hunt made the outrageous comment that women are a distraction in the laboratory, Twitter responded, not with words but images. Women scientists from all over the world shared selfies mocking how distractingly sexy they are while going about their jobs. It was the perfect reaction to a ridiculous claim.

You Are Dog Now

You are Dog Now is a genius Twitter account which takes the selfies people submit and match them with a look-a-like dog. With over 50k followers, it shows that a faces campaign doesn’t have to be complicated, as long as it has a strong concept. Who wouldn’t want to see what they look like as a dog?

Facebook’s Face-Tagging

Facebook launched in 2004, when MySpace was at the forefront of social platforms. In 2005, Facebook was one of the first websites to offer unlimited site storage for photos. This started the trend for Facebook albums of nights out. Next came the ability to tag your friends in (unflattering) pictures. This was a brand new feature and helped make Facebook THE social network to be on. Nobody wanted to be tagged without knowing!

This is That Lot’s employees wall, illustrations by JP

Snapchat’s Face filters

Snapchat recognised the popularity of the selfie and built on it, creating hilarious face filters that provide more reasons to share your face with another human being and likely, receive a face in return.

Snapchat’s Face Swap

Snapchat’s Face Swap filter caused a similar stir to FaceApp when it was first released, with thousands of people sharing their crazy face swaps outside of the platform.

Face swapping with your baby can lead to weird results. Credit: Bored Panda

So, if you’re planning a new social campaign, or want to launch a new social platform, don’t ignore the power of faces. It could be the difference between success and failure.


For more social insights and a whole lot of fun visit That Lot’s Twitter feed.

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