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An Egg Surpassed Kylie Jenner's Record For Most-Liked Instagram Post

MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:

Now a story about an egg - a mighty, humble egg that conquered the Internet with the help of tens of millions of people on Instagram.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

Instagram, the platform where Kim Kardashian and Kanye West can get 2 1/2 million likes for posting a wedding photo.

KELLY: Yeah, that was the most popular post in Instagram history way back in 2014.

SHAPIRO: Beyonce won Instagram for a year. Her pregnancy announcement in 2017 got love from more than 11 million people.

KELLY: And then right up until this past weekend, Kylie Jenner held the title. The first photo of her baby, Stormi, got 18 million likes.

SHAPIRO: Enter the egg - nothing special about it.

KELLY: Nothing special, just a normal brown egg on a white background with some nice little brown speckles.

SHAPIRO: It's actually a stock photo posted by an account called world record egg. This is the only image the account has ever posted. It went up 10 days ago with a caption that reads in part, let's set a world record together and get the most liked post on Instagram. And it worked. As of now, the egg has about twice as many likes as that Kylie Jenner runner-up.

KELLY: So what is going on? Well, here's Taylor Lorenz, a writer for The Atlantic.

TAYLOR LORENZ: This has been a trend with teenagers for months, and it's basically just kind of absurdist humor. They're kind of in the same genre of same pic everyday accounts that just post the same picture of some stock image every single day as kind of a joke.

KELLY: The account comes with a mysterious email address. BuzzFeed reached out, and the reporter was told the Instagram account is being run by (laughter) - by a chicken from the English countryside named Henrietta. The egg, BuzzFeed is told, goes by the name Eugene.

SHAPIRO: We have not fact-checked those claims.

KELLY: (Laughter) No.

SHAPIRO: Taylor Lorenz of The Atlantic says this is a way for people to connect online.

LORENZ: People used to do these viral challenges like planking or the cinnamon challenge. Like, it plays into that sort of collective nature of the Internet. And the fun of it is that you're kind of all working together to build this, like, viral thing or to accomplish this one task.

KELLY: Now that they have accomplished this one task of making it the most liked post, it could be time for this trend to die.

LORENZ: This might be the peak of it. Most of the time, once any of these things break into the mainstream, it kind of becomes lame. So I don't know. You might see a bunch of copycats hop on.

SHAPIRO: For now, every one of those tens of millions of people who've liked the egg post on Instagram can say they helped make history. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.