This article needs to be updated.(January 2018)
This is a partial list of social and cultural phenomena specific to the Internet, also known as Internet memes, such as popular themes, catchphrases, images, viral videos, and jokes. When such fads and sensations occur online, they tend to grow rapidly and become more widespread because the instant communication facilitates word of mouth.
The world's first Internet sensation met the Internet in 1995 when Ty, Inc. introduced Beanie Babies to the online world. The toy craze was aligned with the growth of the Internet. At the time, the Internet was primarily used on college campuses for research. A college student, named Lina Trivedi, who worked for Ty, Inc. introduced the toy company's President, Ty Warner, to the concept of the Internet. Warner devoted resources into research and development of the Beanie Babies Web site and Trivedi developed the first business to consumer Website ever created. Very quickly, the collectability of Beanie Babies grew exponentially as collectors were now able to see all the Beanie Babies that were available on the Internet, as well as new releases that were coming out, and which Beanie Babies were retiring. Ultimately, the Internet fueled the Beanie Babies phenomenon.
This resulted in Beanie Babies evolving into an instant collectible market that spawned thousands of Websites specifically designed to chronicle these toys. Beanie Babies grew in popularity quicker than any other phenomenon prior to its time due to the instant nature of the Internet. Crazes prior to Beanie Babies took years to gain traction, however Beanie Babies were able to become a worldwide phenomenon within months due to the ability of people to create Web pages and share information on the Internet. Beanie Babies were the first worldwide craze fueled by the Internet. After seeing announcements on the Internet, people would line up at mall shops with their gates still down in hopes to get the most valuable Beanie Babies. Many were buying and then trading these toys through Internet Websites for hundreds of dollars and building collections of toys that were exceeding $100,000 in value. At the height of the craze, Beanie Babies accounted for 10% of all sales on eBay and Ty Warner, creator of Beanie Babies, became a billionaire.
These generally feature Internet users recording themselves taking a challenge and then distributing the resulting video through social media sites, often inspiring or daring other users to repeat the challenge.
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