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Social media specialist Peter Lightbody at Quantum talks about online viral meme ‘Murad Osmann’s Follow Me To’ and gives a short analysis on why it became one of the most viral photographs of 2013.


2 years back in 2011, an Argentinian photographer Irina Werning’s Back To The Futurewent viral where she recreated old past photos of people. The photography project started from her asking friends to reenact old cherished photos of them and this unique photography style took off becoming an online trend that people all over the world would recreate their own.

In the following video, Ms. Werning explains how she began, why she does it, how she puts the shots together, and what are the true thoughts and meanings about this project.

At some point, she paused doing this project as she got a different project to work on but the project is not yet to be truly finished. In the video, she briefly quoted about the project.





“I think that these pictures speak for themselves. And that’s why a lot of people liked them. You know, there is no concept behind, no concept that you have to understand to be able to appreciate the picture. This is about how someone looks now, and how s/he looked before. That’s it.”

Murad Osmann’s ‘Follow Me To’ and Irina Werning’s ‘Back To The Future’ share viral elements that are very alike to each other. They both have become one of the most viral photography styles over the time. The two projects started in 2011 and massive engagement and interaction with online users happened until the recent time. Here are the ‘viral ready’ elements in the two project.

* The analysis is based on the interview with the social media expert Peter Lightbody and online research from our first post.

  1. They are beautiful photographs and visually pleasing. Generally speaking, beautiful photographs with rich colours get shared a lot online and drive lots of engagement. In addition, they are also emotionally attaching. These are probably the key elements that so many people would want to share these photographs with their friends up on their personal social spaces.
  2. They started as the photographer’s personal project and became online memes now.
  3. They both utilize social media as a means in order to interact with fans. These online spaces encourage user engagement and participation through uploading their own recreation of these photography styles and allow users to share them with people all over the world. To find out more, visit the links below.


Having no commercial purpose behind creation of the two projects, Murad and Werning do not encourage people to share, like or follow them. The phenomenon of the two projects going viral online just happened as audience authentically appreciated their artwork so much. There are a number of strategic ways to make a thing go viral. However, some take off becoming really popular online memes and some don’t although they have many viral elements in them. It’s probably because there are too many individuals or businesses generate contents only for the reason to be popular and go viral using social media and the number of those people will increase more and more worldwide. I believe the viral success of the two photography projects greatly lies on the authenticity of expressing their artistic creativeness through a medium that was the most appropriate.


  1. Irina Werning on How Her Viral ‘Back to the Future’ Project Came to be, Peta Pixel, < http://petapixel.com/2013/06/05/irina-werning-on-how-her-viral-back-to-the-future-project-came-to-be/>, (Retrieved on 17 June 2013)
  2. Irina Werning, IrinaWarning.com, < http://irinawerning.com/back-to-the-fut/back-to-the-future/&gt;, (Retrieved on 17 June 2013)
  3. Back to the Future, Vimeo, < https://vimeo.com/28051776#&gt;, (Retrieved on 17 June 2013)
  4. Irina Werning’s Back to the Future, Facebook, < https://www.facebook.com/pages/Irina-Wernings-Back-to-the-Future/177458512299000 (Retrieved on 17 June 2013)