At times, it feels like the entire Internet was designed for memes. These funny, adorable, and/or bizarre cultural references are like inside jokes for the virtual world.
Need images for your project? Shutterstock’s impressive collection of more than 70 million images can help! See what our library has to offer.
They can take the form of captioned photos, GIFs, short videos, and other media, but the most common memes are photos spread via social media. Below, we've outlined how to make a meme in five easy steps:
First, find a photo that intrigues you, makes you laugh, or freaks you out. You'll be adding custom text to this image, but it needs to be concise. Aim for two phrases, at the most, so that you can keep the text large enough to read.
Next, find out if your chosen photo already exists on a meme website like Imgflip, Make a Meme, or Memeful. If not, you can upload a new photo to these sites, and then use their browser-based tools to add a caption.
Once you've loaded a photo into a meme website, you can type custom text into the "Top Text" and "Bottom Text" sections. Here, you also have the option to tweak the text color and size. Of course, you can make a meme for your personal enjoyment, but if you want to go viral, try to use phrases that relate to a particular audience.
When you're happy with the meme, press "Save" or "Generate Meme" to share it. Every meme creation site is different, but all of them allow you to post the image to your social media accounts. Some, like Meme Generator, will also provide an HTML code for embedding the image in your own website. If you have an account with the meme service, you may also be able to download the image to your computer.
You've learned how to make a meme, but let's make it go viral! First, you should be comfortable coming up with a text/image combo that ventures into the absurd. It can reference a cultural moment, place a famous actor in silly circumstances, or even spin-off other memes.
The most popular memes all employ internet-style humor, where nothing is off-limits. They also lend themselves to spin-offs, where other users feel compelled to create their own versions and spread them around. If you don't take yourself too seriously, and you manage to come up with something novel, you may have the next viral sensation on your hands.