When Will 'Harlem Shake' Mania End? Dance Video Fad Keeps Getting More Popular

on February 18 2013 11:54 PM
harlem shake
Shown is a screenshot of the Susquehanna University football team's “Harlem Shake: Weight Room Edition” video. YouTube

Sorry, but the "Harlem Shake" is getting more popular by the day, prompting Internet watchers to ask when the mania over the latest YouTube craze will end. Judging by recent trends in such video fads, don't hold your breath for an end to the Shakesanity anytime soon.

Coming hot on the heels of all the "Gangnam Style" imitation clips (if you're one of the sad saps still posting videos of you and your friends doing Psy's ubiquitous dance, shame on you), the popularity of the "Harlem Shake" seems to have no limits, judging by view statistics compiled via a variety of sources.

So the question is: When will the newest dance video obsession come to an end?

Let's start by examining the evidence as it stands today. The term "Harlem Shake" started trending hard online earlier this month, and appears to still be growing in popularity, as though it dipped between Thursday and Saturday, it was more popular than ever as of 11:30 p.m. Sunday night, the last day that such data was available via Topsy.

According to Topsy, an analytics site that compiles data about trending topics, links, videos and more online and especially on social media sites like Twitter, the term "Harlem Shake" got 510,567 mentions on Sunday alone, which is up from its previous daily high of 466,624 mentions on Valentine's Day.

And Tech Crunch provided a graph on Monday that suggested that Google searches for the term "Harlem Shake" are similarly growing at a near-exponential rate.

The craze over the "Harlem Shake" videos began on or around Feb. 4, as the original versions of the dance started to gain traction via YouTube, Twitter and other sites. But as it made the rounds, from Twitter and Facebook to Reddit and email inboxes, it skyrocketed in popularity, eventually becoming one of the absolute most-popular search terms Internet-wide for much of the past week.

It's difficult to determine how long the "Harlem Shake" will continue to work its way into people's hearts around the world, but judging by the popularity of "Gangnam Style," it likely won't drop off the map for quite a while.

At its height in August 2012, Psy's video was generating more than 3 million views a day on YouTube, and it continued to generate millions of views every day for some time after that peak.

But it still hasn't dropped off the map entirely, despite having gone up on YouTube in July of last year. In fact the term "Gangnam Style" still garnered a respectable 54,912 mentions on Twitter on Sunday, according to Topsy. So it appears memes die hard, though many of those mentions were in reference to the long-awaited "death" of "Gangnam Style" in order to make room for something new -- namely the "Harlem Shake."

In other words, get ready for the "Harlem Shake" to be around for far longer than you'd care to continue hearing and seeing it. Hey, at least it's not "Gangnam Style."

And if you haven't seen it yet, here's one of the most popular (and one of the first) of the myriad "Harlem Shake" videos out there: