iFunny is an internet humor site and mobile application featuring user-submitted media in the form of images, videos and animated GIFs. Bearing many similarities to the sites Imgur, FunnyJunk and 9gag, iFunny is known for circulating and popularizing a variety of internet memes despite little attribution from other meme communities.
On April 26th, 2011, iFunny was launched as an iOS mobile application on the Apple App Store for sharing and discovering humorous photos, videos and GIFs. In March, the @iFunny Twitter feed was created, garnering more than 38,000 followers in five years. On April 11th, 2013, the site iFunny.co was launched. On September 22nd, 2014, the official iFunny Facebook page was created, gathering upwards of 176,000 likes over the next three years. In October that year, an iFunny Android application was released on the Google Play Store.
The app is known for its diversity and variety of different communities. Images, videos, and GIFs can be posted to the app as well as made in a built-in meme creator. Users can subscribe to specific iFunny feeds and browse posts by tags. Several major updates have been introduced to iFunny since its addition to the app store, including the ability to search and post GIFs with an in-app browser, an interface redesign to keep in line with iOS 7, a block button, improved security, the addition of #tags and the ability to post content from Vine and Instagram. Users are able to like, comment and republish posts as well as subscribe to users. iFunny grew in popularity from 2015-2017 largely due to the 2016 Presidential Election. The app has been the target of ridicule from several other websites due to its poor reputation.
The iFunny community is known for attempting to divert public's attention from iFunny with the goal of preserving iFunny's ecosystem from the influx of outsiders. On other social media, users often refer to iFunny as "the forbidden app" to avoid using the name of the app.
The "Featured" section on iFunny contains up to 60 posts curated by the sites "Feature Team," which are updated in 20-post cycles three times per day. It is the default section shown on the app. The posts are typically selected from popular images in uploaded in the "Collective" section of the app, containing a feed of user-submitted images that can be liked by users. The featured section has received criticism over the years for being unoriginal and biased towards certain users. It has also been accused by the core community of being a misrepresentation of the original content made on the platform, thus giving the app a poor name.
The "Collective" section is the section featuring the circulation of all content posted on the app. Content on the app can either be posted exclusively to subscribers of a profile or be sent to collective for the entire app to see. Due to the endless amount of posts that can be encountered, the section has been ridiculed by users for a lack of organization and a large amount of fandom posts and reposted memes.
iFunny has a large community and maintains a presence making memes on the internet. It known for being the source of several memes often attributed to other sites. The community is often overlooked due to bad representation by the Featured section. The community went through multiple stages of development through the years. Many other users have complained of the community, arguing that they are juvenile and bigoted.
Many fandom communities are featured on the app, including Bronies, Furries and Otakus. Fandoms were a significant point of contention on the app due to their presence often being over represented in the collective section, with accusations that they "flooded" the app.
Offensives Vs. Fandoms
The app had a large presence of Offensive accounts from 2013-2015, posting dark humor and crude bigoted memes on the app. Offensives harassed fandom accounts on the app due to their fragility and association with Tumblr. In 2013, troll group SWA (Swaggers With Attitude) was formed by users and frequently targeted fandom accounts with ban raids and harassment.
SWA was heavily suppressed by the app's administration until the group eventually faded in late 2014. The group is well known for staging multiple trolls on the app to the point of nearly getting users arrested as well as being an early instance of irony in meme culture before it went mainstream.
Offensives declined severely in 2015 as most of them became political or meme accounts during the 2016 Presidential Election. Fandoms remain, though separated from the central community.
Around the summer of 2013 several political groups rose in the app. Political groups branched off as their members learned more about politics and eventually the community consisted of libertarians, various anarchist factions, fascists, and leftists. The political community grew dramatically during the 2016 Presidential Election, where the app saw an influx of new users and a surge in popularity from 2015-2016. The community was known for political essays but gradually evolved to posting memes instead. Due to the popularity of the community, many other users on the app saw these posts and often commented "This is iFunny not iPolitics." As a result the community dubbed itself "iPolitics", though they have since merged with the broader central community.
On February 4th 2017 iFunny user New_California_Republic went to the He Will Not Divide Us live stream holding a sign with the Bernard meme on it. Afterwards members of the iPolitics community attempted to trick the media into believing Bernard was a hate symbol. They were met with mild success as a Buzzfeed article did briefly mention Bernard as an ''Alt-right meme''.
Samuel Woodward, a neo-Nazi responsible for the murder of Blaze Bernstein on January 10, 2018, was a prominent user on the app under the name Saboteur, or Sab. Woodward had posted several political essays on fascism and National Socialism for years before leaving the app in 2017. Woodward is now the subject of multiple memes and ridicule on the app after the murder of Bernstein. Several of his posts on the app were cited in his trial.
The app is known for being the origin of several internet memes as well as circulating many of them before their widespread popularity. The app also has its own memes and in-jokes with the community, often kept exclusively on the app to avoid reposting on other websites.
iFunny is well-known for the GIF captions found on the app, made using the GIF caption feature introduced in 2014. It was immediately used to make offensive captions as well as ironic shitposting. The community's creations using the feature have been reposted all around the internet and continue to be incredibly popular.
The Forbidden App
For the purposes of diverting public's attention from the app and preserving the "deep" iFunny ecosystem, iFunny users often use refer to iFunny as "the forbidden app" on other platforms. This is also known as "rule one of iFunny" (a Fight Club reference) and "part of the ship, part of the crew."
Civilized Discussion is an exploitable comic series in which a social gathering representing “a civilized discussion” is disrupted by a group of naked people who proceed to relieve their bowels on the ground. In the series, the two groups are often depicted as rival factions from a variety of nations, fandoms and subcultures. The comics are believed to have been popularized on iFunny in September 2015.
Kanye and Eminem
A popular meme on the app are ironic comics featuring rappers Kanye West and Eminem. The comics usually conclude with Eminem being ridiculed and panicking while Kanye West stares in victory. The original image of Eminem having a mental breakdown was first posted by user FreddyX in 2014 in an ironic comic featuring a rap battle between Eminem and Batman on May 11, 2015. The format was popularized by user Mobian who made several ironic comics between Eminem and Kanye for multiple years, the first being posted on November 11, 2016. As of 2016, the original post has over 105k likes. The memes have since made their way to Instagram and Reddit on some occasions to the dismay of the community. The memes have been recreated in other ways using a similar format.
Kek or Cringe / You Just Posted Cringe!
The expressions "Kek" and "Cringe" in an ironic fashion originated on the app as early as 2014, where they were frequented by troll groups and originating from the SWA and the members' group chats. Kek or Cringe reached mainstream popularity from the user Mobian, who posted ironic comics with the phrase using a scene from No Country for Old Men on March 18, 2019.
The meme You Just Posted Cringe! was also originated by the iFunny community after the use of the word became more popular. The earliest known usage of the meme was on August 23rd, 2018 by iFunny user FunnyInternetMan.
The popular reaction image of Shrek snapping a photo captioned Yep, this is going in my cringe compilation originated on iFunny. The image of Shrek was used ironically by users in 2015, with the earliest known instance being by the user Onionscoper on May 12, 2015. The image was later used in its current format by user Gxbe on January 6, 2018.
Gonna Cry? Piss Your Pants Maybe?
The copypasta Gonna Cry? Piss Your Pants Maybe? was created on iFunny by user Wrench on December 12, 2018. It quickly became popular and multiple different versions were made, eventually reposted on other sites like Instagram. The copypasta has since been used around the internet and in different formats.
"Epic Win!" memes refer to memes created by users involving characters from the Marvel Cinematic Universe celebrating. The earliest known use of the meme originated on August 24, 2018 by user Askew who created the meme with the character Star Lord. After the release of Avengers: Endgame in 2019, more versions of the meme were created by user Freeday with different Avengers Characters. The videos are typically posted as reactions and are reposted in lower quality formats. The memes became popular around the internet at the release of Avengers: Endgame.
Ironic Doge memes originated on iFunny. The earliest known use was by user hiyro on June 2, 2016. Doge memes continued to spread throughout 2017 by users such as Paddy before the memes became mainstream in 2018. Many users have criticized websites such as Reddit and Instagram for stealing the meme over a year after it began.
iFunny was the source of much early ironic humor alongside Tumblr in 2014. As ironic memes began to be widespread in 2016, users on the app took notice of overlooked early memes created by users years ago that were ironic. Troll groups like SWA were responsible for most of the early ironic shitposting.
Reddit and Instagram
The app has a long-lasting rivalry with Reddit dating back to the launch of iFunny in 2012. Redditors frequently accused iFunny users of reposting Reddit memes and posts in an effort to be featured. Many Reddit users even campaigned to raid iFunny after the incessant shitposting.
The featured section continues to be filled with reposts from Reddit, which the actual core iFunny community has taken an issue with. The community has mocked Reddit for being unoriginal and repetitive with their memes and have criticized iFunny's administration for featuring the memes so heavily. iFunny users typically mock Reddit by making ironic shitposts of their memes and coined the term "Reddit Moment" to use in reaction to cringe-worthy Reddit posts and memes. Similarly to Reddit, the community also criticizes Instagram meme pages for stealing memes and reposting original content. Many large Instagram meme accounts with upwards to a million followers have been caught lurking on iFunny and stealing content.
Midway through 2012, the Collective section of iFunny was flooded with requests for viewers to add the poster on the instant messenger application Kik. In February, iFunny added an option to report "Kik Posts" for removal, significantly decreasing the volume of Kik requests on the site.
Removal and Return to the App Store
In August 2013, iFunny was unexpectedly removed from the Apple App Store. On September 9th, the tech news site PhonesReview.com posted an article speculating that the app was removed due to a shortage of server space, failure to comply with Apple or the presence of illegal content uploaded to the app. On September 20th, iFunny returned to the App Store.
On iFunny, a demotivational meme based on an image of Rocket Propelled Chainsaw, tagged "Holy shit a rocket chainsaw" was in the first set of images to be ever featured on the website on April 12th, 2011 (shown below, left). The image, introduced before login and comment features were added to the application, gained over 195,900 smiles and 42,000 comments since. Despite widespread belief that the image was the very first feature on iFunny, another demotivational meme posted on April 12th, 2011 was the first image in the feature set (shown below, right).
Following a commemorative post made by iFunny user FirstEver_2013 on December 15th, 2015, Rocket Chainsaw grew to become a mascot image on the website, often referenced in posts and comments and mentioned as the first image to ever get featured on the website.
Brazil Added as a Separate Server
On November 13th, 2016, iFunny expanded to Brazil, adding a new and separate Collective and Featured section. It wasn't until the start of 2017 when American users started to invade Brazilian Collective. They spammed them with insults, boasting their patriotism, and even photos of a burning Brazil flag.
iFunny Cover-Up Controversy
Volunteer Moderation Removal
On October 4th, 2019, official iFunny moderation team account iFunnyModerator account has posted an announcement that "iFunny moderators will no longer be available to take care of issues or reports." In the comments, iFunnyModerator clarified that only the volunteer moderators have been stripped of their power, with staff moderators and automod remaining active.
In the hours following the announcement, multiple deep iFunny users posted memes which implied that the content posted on the app would be largely unmonitored, and predicted a surge in the amount of gore and porn posts (examples shown below). In the same timeframe, a number of accounts made gore and porn posts on the site, with the accounts receiving bans in the following hours.
Additionally, multiple deep iFunny users expressed the intention to abuse the decrease in moderator presence on the site by forming local factions ("fractured iFunny") akin to those present on the site in earlier years.
In 2014, the traffic analytics company ComScore released a report listing iFunny as the 10th most popular mobile app used by people ages 18-24. As of July 2016, iFunny.co has a global rank of 12,360 and a United States rank of 3,500 on Alexa.