It was a happy time while it lasted. What started in October with a single man trying to brighten up his own life quickly became an internet sensation, a popular social media self-help meme that is now, 10 months later, coming to its predictable end.
To date, the hashtag #100happydays has been used 20.8 million times on Instagram alone, proving that the trend has surpassed its goal of 100 posts 208,000 times. Yet like all trends, especially those in the easy come easy go world of social media, it could only go so far. SimilarWeb’s data provides some interesting insights into how, when and where it all went down.
From One to Many
The trajectory of this viral phenom is remarkable. It all started when 27-year-old Dmitry Golubnichy, a Ukraine-born Swiss resident, realized he needed to appreciate his life more, so he came up with the hashtag-driven exercise to help him give strength to the things that make him happy. He started posting with #100happydays in Octobr, and members of his own social circles followed suit, rippling the exercise to new audiences on more channels like Twitter and Facebook.
By winter, Golubnichy realized it was time to build a website, 100happydays.com, to serve as the hub for what had become a movement. “I put the website live on December 30 and I had around 5,000 people registered the first night,” he told NBC. “I was like, what?! So many people.” In efforts to ensure that the movement would perpetuate itself, Golubnichy launched a charitable foundation and offered gifts to contributors.
A few days after Golubnichy’s site went up, Buzzfeed ran a post with 39 embedded examples of the hashtag being used, and that’s when things really took off. Today Show co-hostess Kathie Lee Gifford participated starting in February.
— Kathie Lee Gifford (@KathieLGifford) February 16, 2014
Although the #100happydays movement seems to have helped many people around the world via many social networks, as always, Facebook is leading the charge. SimilarWeb PRO’s crawler indicates that nearly 95% of desktop computer users referred by social media to 100happydays.com clicked through from Facebook.
Industry data from SimilarWeb PRO indicates that across the entire web, about 67% of socially referred traffic comes from Facebook, so 100happydays.com does enjoy significantly disproportionate Facebook love.
A cumulative total of 2 million social referrals to 100happydays.com account for 39% of the site’s visits. Compare that to a web-wide average of under 5%, and you can start to understand the power potential of hashtags.
This Hashtag’s 15 Minutes Are Up
By July, the whole Today cast had jumped on the bandwagon. And that’s when the backlash started, with critics across the blogosphere slamming #100happydays for its allegedly exhibitionist, shallow values. Haters gonna hate, right?
From May onward, search referrals to 100happydays.com have exceeded social, which is a good sign that the virality of this phenomenon has run its course. Golubnichy’s three-month experiment is finally fizzling out after a year. That’s a lot of happy days.
Such social trends are always fascinating to us at SimilarWeb. It tells the story of the digital social world. The fact that the creator of this hushtag built a business module around it shows it’s not only viral, but also has profit potential. Examples such as #100happydays should be the bread and butter of any serious social marketers.