How We Created a Feature from a Meme
Today we’re launching Vibe Check, a fun, silly way to add context when you share to Snapchat from TRASH. We’re doing it with no other than Daniel Spencer, the comedian who vibe checks people on TikTok.
We also partnered with design collective Parent Company because one of their founders, Umru, was the first person to post “vibe check?” on Twitter.
If that isn’t a House of Vibes, we don’t know what is.
We’re at a really interesting point for the phrase “vibe check”. It’s the new way of saying “how are you” at a time when saying those words doesn’t really feel appropriate anymore— It’s the whassup of today. Remember that?
So, we’re taking a meme and making it a feature for Snapchat.
How it works
When people share their vids (or any media) into their Snapchat Story from TRASH, they’ll be able to put an interactive vibe check sticker on it. Friends can swipe up to vote “pass“ or “fail” (as is in keeping with the meme), and after 24h, the results are in! TRASH shows you how your vibe check fared and you can share the results back out to your Snapchat Story too.
We had so much fun with this, we also made a web version at vibeche.cc that is perrrrfect for Twitter. Instead of vibe checking a video or photo, you can type any topic to make a personalized vibe check web link.
We’ve been playing with it all weekend and lmao, you should try :)
Integrating with Snapchat
In May we graduated from Snap’s Yellow accelerator. The ideas that led to Vibe Check happened while we were a part of that program. We went in with the goal of learning more about what works on Snapchat and experimenting with Snap Kit (Snap’s third party developer platform) because we were seeing an interesting behavior: many of our users trash their old Snapchat Memories, breathing new life into them.
We figured a way to share this content back to Snapchat in a fun way (using Snap’s Creative Kit to add swipe up stickers to Stories) would be rad. When we added Login Kit and noticed that Snap became our #1 sign up method, we quickly added Bitmoji Kit too so users could bring their avatars along.
Why Tho & The History of Vibe Check
Vibe Check is a way of saying “how are you” that started as an ironic dank meme in r/dankmemes/.
Dank memes are shared broadly, and sometimes the meaning will change. This one was widely massive. Dank Memers call these mass memes “Normie memes” or “Normie TRASH” ie. STONKS went from “certified dank” to “Normie TRASH”.
It made it’s way into more broad internet internet usage towards the end of last year…
By the spring of 2020, it was all up in TikTok comments, videos, and even becoming a signature comedy style for Daniel Spencer summoning TikTokers to the “House of Vibes” if they pass the vibe check.
How does Vibe Check fit into TRASH?
TRASH is for sharing your vibe in video. The vids are super personal, meta and vibey, they’re often more like sharing a feeling more than a narrative story. They’re a lot like what you might see in people’s Stories on Social Media, short moments, feelings, jokes. TRASH videos are the evolution of Stories. Not surprisingly, TRASH videos in Stories get more engagement than regular Stories, because video is just that much richer when it’s edited together well.
Vibe check felt like an obvious phrase for videos our users were already describing as “vibey”/ Because of the personal nature, Snap is an obvious place to share them, and Snap is also the “operating system for Gen Z”. Our audience is young, so developing a feature from a meme that has the potential to be an online cult felt like the prefect way to come out of the gate with our new platform. Josh Constantine did an excellent write up on this for his newsletter, Moving Product.
Today, TRASH is no longer just a tool for making videos but a new platform for making and sharing vibey videos with friends, following others, getting notifications for when friends react and vibe check you, plus rich ways to share to established networks —like Snapchat — so you look that much cooler when you make vids 😎
Huge thanks to the TRASH team with special shouts to Armand, Chihyu and Simon; the Parent Company team Eden, Max and Umru; Mike and Alex and the Yellow Spring 2020 team, and Alston and the Snap Kit team.