Millennials Get Their News From Memes, Says Tech Company That Understands Neither

By Holly Brockwell on at

"Memes have replaced Twitter as the go-to news source for millennials," according to smartphone manufacturer LG, in surely one of the worst press releases ever.

Promoting the release of the actually quite cool LG G6, the tech company surveyed 2,000 adults this month to find out where they get their news from. Bafflingly, they claim the results show that "memes (8%) have just edged out Twitter (6%) as the latest news source for millennials. Both were also more popular than more traditional forms of news, such as newspapers (4%)."

How they could possibly have worded this query to get that result (we've asked, and will update you when we hear back) is beyond us. Yes, memes about news and current affairs are popular, but no one gets their news from memes. What does that even mean?

Update: An LG spokesperson told us the query asked "how they were most likely to find out about news events." The possible responses were: "Watching the news on TV; reading a newspaper; reading news directly on an online news site; seeing memes shared on social media; Twitter; Facebook and Other."

Finding out that something happened via seeing a meme is very different to memes being their "go-to news source" – how can you even "go to memes" to find out what happened? "I see there's a general election coming up, better go to KnowYourMeme to get the story"???

Still, "sometimes memes alert people to a news story they weren't aware of" doesn't make quite such a catchy subject line for a press release.

The point of the study was to draw attention to the fact that the G6 can create gifs, which is not the same thing as making a meme, but LG seems to be generally quite confused about it all:

"Despite this ever increasing love of meme culture, 94% of those polled have never actually created their own meme and only 5% have ever created a GIF. LG plans to change that, as its latest smartphone, the LG G6, comes with an exciting set of camera features that will help turn users into GIF artists and meme creators. Features include the G6’s GIF Animation Generator, which can sequentially link photographs from a gallery together to make GIFs. For budding meme comedians, Match Shot Mode blends together two photographs into a single image."

O...K.

They also commissioned "GIF artist Kate Bones" to create a gif of the phone itself – and even she seems to realise the pointlessness of the task:

"To see a big brand like LG launch the new G6 smartphone, which integrates GIFs into the functionality, is really exciting. Yes, there’s been some GIF making apps, but to be able to make a GIF straight from the camera is pushing it to the next level."

Pushing it to the next level? Really? Are LG aware that the very popular Google Photos app also makes gifs from photos, and that various phones have included ways to do it for years...? Or that there are web tools that'll make you a meme in seconds, and they're available from – gasp – phones?

Come on guys, you're better than this.

The release – which unironically declares that "memes and viral internet culture have become mainstream" as if that's some kind of news – goes on to say that millennials prefer political memes to TV and film ones, and think the best meme of 2017 was "Michelle Obama's side eye at the inauguration."

Here's the full run-down of the best memes of 2017 according to LG's survey – several of which we've never even heard of. Maybe we're just not cool, I dunno.

The nation’s favourite memes of 2017, according to LG

1. Michelle Obama at the Inauguration
2. Cristiano Ronaldo's statue
3. "Cash me outside" girl
4. Meryl Streep singing
5. Salt bae
6. Ryan Gosling whispering
7. I have never been to Prague
8. Roll safe

It gets better! Their list of the best memes of all time includes Pepe the racist frog. I have no words.

The nation’s favourite memes of all time, according to LG
1. Condescending Wonka
2. Gangnam Style
3. Evil Kermit
4. Rick roll
5. LOLcats
6. Rebecca Black's Friday
7. Pepe the frog
8. Demotivational posters
9. Leeroy Jenkins
10. The dress

PR's a tough job, guys.

Main image: Giphy


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