Instagram’s record-breaking egg (the hatching of an influencer)
A photograph of a single speckled egg has taken the title of most-liked image ever on Instagram, after a whirlwind campaign which began on 4 January of this year. At the time of writing, it's been double-tapped some 53,286,254 times.
“It doesn’t end here though, we’re only just getting started. #EggGang. Mic drop,” the unknown account holder wrote in response to his/her unlikely victory.
Presumably, this means the egg has picked up a #sponsored post deal with a collection of stainless steel pans and followers can expect a series of Instagram stories answering the age-old question of whether it or the chicken came first.
With the explicit aim of dethroning the title's previous holder, Kylie Jenner, the campaign took on a somewhat personal tone, with comments taking aim at the model. "Yeah take that Kylie," commented one user, "Kylie Jenner is done," wrote another.
Jenner previously held the title with the announcement of another hatching - the birth of her daughter Stormi, which garnered over 18 million likes. She in turn took the title from Beyoncé, who managed a paltry 11.2 million likes with her own pregnancy announcement in 2017.
The egg is, of course, a symbol of new life and fertility in both Chinese and Christian cultures. Unless you're on rival social network Twitter, where eggs have become a byword for trolls who lurk behind the site's default profile image to take out their unhappiness on (usually female, successful) celebrities.
So: is the egg a clever exercise in cross-platform trolling? A commentary on the tedium of Instagram? By cracking the formula to going 'viral' with such apparent ease, has it left the multi-million pound influencer industry with egg on its face? Does this signal a backlash against the platform's increasingly homogenised humourlessness?
Maybe. Or it could just be an egg.
Perhaps the real purpose of something so unglamorous standing out in a sea of selfies is to remind us not to take social media too seriously in the first place.