The Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology, Delhi (IIIT-D), has developed MIME, a social network application for meme enthusiasts.
Memes are already mainstream, and there are a host of tools to create these witty elements that make for great forwards and shares on social media.
Four students — Varnit Jain, Chirag Jain, Sarthak Marwaha, Pranshu Bansal — worked on the project for over a year under Ponnurangam Kumaraguru or “PK”.
The team felt “the creation of memes is limited to a niche community of content creators, who are skilled in photo/video editing softwares... We built a one-stop solution for all the meme needs — a maker space where people can create memes, a personalised meme feed, and a space to connect with other meme enthusiasts”.
The app was launched on Monday on Google's Play Store, and already has a five-star rating with about 600-700 downloads. “We aim to create a strong community by enabling users to form connections on similar meme interests,” the team wrote in a blogpost. A version of the app for iOS users is also being worked on.
Beginning as an academic project, MIME conducted an initial survey with a small sample size of 88 people.
Of these, 61.3 per cent people were found to have spent at least 30 minutes every day on memes, 70.7 per cent felt the memes they like represent their emotions, and they connect with their content on a daily basis, and 68 per cent of them wanted to connect to people with similar meme interests.
Some popular meme-creation platforms are Imgur, Livememe, Quickmeme, and Meme Dad. However, the idea of having a meme-led conversation is what makes MIME unique.
Memes are also increasingly a marketing tool being used by brands to reach out to younger and Internet-savvy audience.
According to a Nielsen survey last year, chat, video-streaming, browsers, social networking and image apps are the most engaging. They account for more than 50 per cent of the total time spent on smartphones in India.