10 Internet Trends That Made 2016 Lit

  | 5 min read

2016 has been a good year for the Internet

As 2016 comes to a close, many people online are expressing a similar sentiment, ‘2016 has been a rough year’. With the death toll rising in the Syrian civil war, the results of the American presidential elections, terrorist attacks around the globe, loss of musical icons like Prince and George Michael, and more. It’s safe to say that many of us aren’t going to miss 2016.

Nevertheless, despite all the sad things that happened this year, people did not lose their sense of humour and made 2016 an iconic year for Internet trends. From viral social media challenges, to rib-cracking memes, and GIFs–if you were online in 2016, you were guaranteed to be entertained.

So in honour of all the Internet magic that was created this year, here is our list (it’s definitely not definitive) of the best online trends of 2016.

1. Crying Jordan meme

The meme originates from a 2009 video of Michael Jordan crying during his induction into the Basketball Hall of Fame. Initially, the meme was used by sports fans when their teams lost. However, the meme eventually gained mainstream attention, and is now used when people have an unwanted outcome, sad news, or generally suffer misfortune – like, “when you leave the house thinking you have 100% battery charge, then your phone dies”.

2. Mr. Krab’s meme

Another meme that was everywhere in 2016 is that of Mr. Krab from the cartoon TV show SpongeBob SquarePants. This meme is used for moments when something unexpected happens and you are completely caught off guard. For instance, accidently sending a text where you are talking badly about someone, to the very person you were gossiping about! Yikes!

3. Conceited the Rapper/ ‘You thought’ meme

This meme is used when you have expectations of how things will go, and life gives you the opposite. For instance, if you thought Hillary Clinton would win the election and ‘ooops’, it went to Donald Trump.

4. Smiling Usain Bolt meme

When Usain Bolt won the 100-meter dash race at this year’s Summer Olympics, he also created a moment that the Internet would use over and over again. His meme is the opposite of the crying Jordan meme, and signifies when someone is winning in life.

5. Ray Kigosi ‘Maji’ interview

During an interview, Tanzanian movie star Ray Kigosi was asked about his drastic skin tone change. The thing is, he started out as a dark-skinned actor, but nowadays, he seems to have gotten quite light-skinned. Ray attributed his lighter skin to “drinking a lot of water”. And once the interview was shared online, it became the joke of the country.

Now, every time a before and after picture of a celebrity or person who bleached their skin is shared online, people comment and say things like ‘they must’ve drunk a lot of water like Ray’.

6. Scorpion

When a local TV star, known as ‘Scorpion’ was charged with armed robbery and gouging out the eyes of his victim in the process, it caused a frenzy on all media platforms in Tanzania. The case was closely reported by bloggers and followed by many Tanzanians online. People were both afraid and grotesquely amused by the violent act, and especially the fact that it was allegedly committed by a relatively known entertainer. Everyone had their opinion of what happened and were eager to vocalise it online.

7. Beyonce

2016 was the year of Beyonce, from her single Formation to her new album Lemonade, her tour and live performances. Queen Bee was the talk of the internet all year round.

8. The Mannequin Challenge

This is probably the biggest internet challenge to become popular globally this year. People basically remain frozen in action like mannequins for a couple of seconds or minutes, while a camera moves around filming them. The song that’s usually played in the background is ‘Black Beatle’ by the group Rae Sremmurd.

In Tanzania, the Mannequin challenge has been done by partygoers at popular nightlife spots like Elements and Triniti, and by staff at numerous companies.

9. Put some ‘respeck on my name’

“Put some respeck on my name”, is a quote by rapper Birdman that was said when he randomly showed up to a taping of the radio show ‘The Breakfast Club’, and confronted the hosts for talking badly about him on their platform.

The quote quickly became a popular phrase on the Internet and offline, and people even started putting it on t-shirts, mugs, and other merchandise.

10. Chura music video

Chura (meaning frog in Swahili) is a song by Tanzanian musician Snura. The song was a hit in the local music scene and the video for it caused a stir, as it portrays women twerking, grinding, and dancing in various sexual positions. As a result, the video quickly became an Internet sensation.

However, it was eventually banned by the government on the basis of its ‘inappropriate and vulgar content’ that goes against the moral principles of Tanzanian society. This caused quite the debate online, as many people supported or were against the song.  Despite the ban, the video can still be found on many platforms.

Bonus: ZoomTanzania got a new look

Last but not least, ZoomTanzania launched it’s all new website, with added features like this blog and a Swahili version of the site.

Ok, so this wasn’t exactly breaking news on the Internet, but as the most effective platform for connecting buyers and sellers in Tanzania, the new Zoom will surely improve many of our experiences online for years to come!

What do you think?

So you see, despite all the bad moments, there were also plenty of incredibly awesome moments this year, and they were all memorialised on the Internet. So what are your picks for the greatest Internet trends of 2016? Is there something we forgot? Let us know!

Iman Lipumba
A digital storyteller, experienced in creating content that improves website visibility on search engines, enhances the user experience, and nurtures brand loyalty. With a background in the social sciences, an expert in researching complex ideas, and communicating them in engaging language to multiple audiences.