Using FOMO to get people to donate to meaningful purposes is the best that 2020 has to offer.
On Thursday, a diverse group of young techies started mobilizing the culture of exclusivity and excitement in the industry to build hype for a mysterious new project with the cryptic name “It Is What It Is”
Enthusiasm for the project quickly went viral when tech twitter got loud to find out what the hell is It is what it is and, more importantly, why has Silicon Valley talked so much about it? A Twitter account The name of the same name offered only a few pointers, only indicated an announcement on Friday evening and linked with a bare bones website It comes straight from the 90s when people were able to add their emails to a waiting list. Several Screenshots began to circulate from users who claimed to be working on test builds of the app, and although they obviously didn’t look serious, the level of detail apparently only fueled speculation for one gag.
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Around midnight, the website’s banner changed to read, “It’s what it is. We live,” followed by instructions for users to donate to charities that support the black community Loveland Foundation, the okra project, and the innocence project and share your receipt to learn more.
At that point, the It It What It Is team announced that it had trolled tech twitter – even though it is still considered trolling if it is for a good cause? – to jump on the hype train for an app that doesn’t exist. When you send a receipt, you’ll be taken to a page that reads, “This is not a real app. None of it is real. It is what is.” who support the Black Lives Matter movement.
In the Friday statement, the group revealed more information about how this inside joke turned into a massive fundraiser that was supposed to raise more than $ 200,000 in donations to charities that help black communities.
“What started as a meme in our chat in small groups grew bigger than we ever imagined. So we thought about how we could use the hype cycle we came across, ”wrote the team. “But to be honest, we didn’t have to think too much: at this moment there is virtually no bigger problem to aggravate than the systemic racism and anti-blackness that most of the world is just waking up with.”
Regynald Augustin, an engineer on Twitter who helped launch It Is What It Is, said Business insider that the team consisted of about 60 20-year-olds, all colored, who brought the campaign together in about 36 hours. How they designed such a successful marketing strategy: “We literally just swung,” says the team tweeted Saturday.
After members of the group started posting the emoji combination in their Twitter handles, what was once an inside joke quickly took on a life of its own. According to Augustin, between 30,000 and 50,000 people have registered on the app’s waiting list.
“In summary, that’s what it is: a meme that took advantage of the relentless hype surrounding exclusive apps and redirected it to a critical social need,” the team wrote in Friday’s statement.