Are you stripping?

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Over the past few days, I’ve seen quite a few comic strips pop up on my Facebook News Feed. I recognised them from a program my boyfriend used to create a Sinterklaas present last December (yes he was cool before cool was cool), but now it really is gaining momentum. It’s such a good example of the online snowball effect: one friends sees another one doing something cool and copies it, then their friends want to copy it, and an avalanche is created. I’m just curious to see how long the trend will last.

The app behind all this is called Bitstrips, who released their first Facebook app in December last year. The iPhone app was only created at the end of September, and since then it has been downloaded almost 11 million times. That’s more than the population of Greece!

The comic strips are slowly replacing status updates and even selfies (YIKES!) with their humorous takes on emotions and events.

For those who are yet to see one appear on their News Feed, the comic strips are created via the Facebook app or via a smartphone. Users can create an avatar that looks exactly like them (with the optional exaggerated features, of course) and position themselves in a scene. This can represent what they are experiencing or feeling, or just be a funny scene including friends.

“Bitstrips is hard to categorise because it’s not a game. It’s a new way to express yourself and interact with your friends. Instead of posting the same things as everyone else, you can create something that relates to your life.”
– Jacob Blackstock, Bitstrips CEO

I’ve experimented a bit with the app, and I must say it is quite entertaining. But I do think it will become another FarmVille: popular for a second and forgotten the next minute. And speaking of Facebook trends, am I the only one who really hopes Candy Crush’s 15 minutes of fame is ending soon?

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Whatever the future of this stripping trend, let’s just enjoy it while it lasts. And for those loathers who can’t stand another minute of it, there’s a way out: just hide it from appearing on your feed. Or go outside and enjoy some fresh air!

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