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Why Facebook Cartoon Characters Killed Reface.me

Unless you’ve spent the past few weeks talking to a beaver instead of logging into Facebook, you’ll have noticed many people ─maybe including you─ have changed their profile pictures to that of their favorite cartoon characters. The social network now seems populated by Betty Boop, The Smurfs, Popeye, Bugs Bunny, Spongebob Squarepants, more Smurfs… Even compared to Valentine’s Day, Wayback Week and Doppelgänger Week, this is definitely the biggest profile picture meme that hit Facebook so far, with hundreds of thousands of users’ profile pics turned into cartoons and different media all over the world.

When we first saw the meme go viral halfway the month of November, the whole idea was “just for fun”. But as days passed and the trend really caught on, an anti child abuse message was added to the call-to-action message that people are currently still copy-pasting at a heartbeat rate. This is what seems to be the latest edit, but we bet that December 6th deadline will be pushed back even more as long as the hype is hot:

Change your FB picture to a cartoon from your childhood. The goal is not to see a human face on FB until Monday (Dec 6th) Join the fight against child abuse & copy and paste to your status!

facebook cartoon characters

Now it’s all fun and games, until just before the weekend “Facebook cartoon pictures” became one of the most popular keyword searches on Google, who gave the search term a “Volcanic” rating in terms of hotness. And as it turned out, our site was somewhere near the top search results because of all the cartoonesque Facebook tagging pictures we offer. Next thing we knew, reface.me was being hammered by thousands of visitors simultaneously looking for usable cartoon profile pictures. Our server couldn’t keep up with the traffic surge and repeatedly went offline as you may have experienced yourself. In fact, our hardware is still recovering from the sudden attention so accessibility might be flaky.

We’re sorry for the inconvenience this may have caused and we will try to prepare our server for the next big Facebook fad (Movie characters? Musicians? Colors?). In the meantime, please find your cartoon profile picture inspiration here, for instance.

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Why Facebook Cartoon Characters Killed Reface.me Posted by on December 6, 2010 at 7:34 PM. Use this trackback if you're linking this story.

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