The Biggest Viral Stories of the 2010s

The Biggest Viral Stories Of The 2010

The Biggest Viral Stories of the 2010s

As we creep ever closer to the end of another year, we not only get to look back at the biggest stories of 2019, but also the biggest stories of the decade!


Summarising the events that shaped one year is difficult enough, but it’s near impossible to keep track of the biggest stories of the last ten years. Near impossible doesn’t mean impossible. Here  are just five of the biggest viral stories of the decade.


Who could forget the first craze to go truly mega-viral in the internet age? Planking became a massive phenomenon around the world. Kids were suspended from school, celebrities were doing it on television, and sadly, at least one death can be attributed to the craze. While it came and went in a matter of weeks, planking had given the internet its first taste of viral memes entering ‘the real world’. The internet would never be the same again.

Kony 2012:

Remember #stopkony? The short documentary film that went online in March 2012 and went viral overnight, with 100 million hits in just six days. It wasn’t long before the organisation behind the video came under some media scrutiny though, and just a few months later the Kony 2012 organised crumbled like a house of cards.

Fidget spinners:

A more recent phenomenon that started online were fidget spinners. Fidget spinners were everywhere you looked in 2017. From toy aisles to corner stores to Facebook ads. Just like many of these stories in the 2010s, fidget spinners were gone in an instant. They were relegated to trivia questions and nostalgic blog articles.

The white and gold dress:

While many consider the American elections of 2016 to be the most polarising event to happen in the 2010s, those people have simply forgotten the scandal that was the white and gold dress. Or was it the black and blue dress? Whatever you thought, it sure took hold of the internet for a few weeks in February 2015. It spilled onto morning chat shows and work coffee breaks around the world.

The Ice Bucket Challenge:

Remember when our Facebook newsfeed was filled with videos of people dumping ice-cold water on themselves? Then the challenge was to get others to do the same. No one really knew how exactly it got so viral. The Ice Bucket Challenge became the most popular and most wholesome internet trend of 2014. Raising a whopping $115 million for ALS awareness and research.

Honourable Mentions:

When picking just five viral trends out of an entire decade, it’s clear some stories miss out. That’s not to say the stories we chose were more important than the stories we didn’t. Chances are they just had more of an online presence. Some of those other stories you might have forgotten about were, Gangnam style, the Harlem Shake, Pokemon Go, the end of Vine, Bitcoin, and more recently, the #MeToo movement.

What do you think were the biggest viral stories of this decade?

Let us know!