In the past two weeks, Instagram has been overrun with viral challenges.

On Tuesday, thousands of teenagers began posting unflattering photos of themselves to their feeds with the cryptic caption “until tomorrow.” Anyone who liked the photos, which are intended to only stay up for 24 hours, received a message from the user daring them to do the same.

“It’s all that’s on my feed right now,” said Ophelia Parisi, 16, of Whitesboro, N.Y., who participated in the challenge herself. “Literally everyone is doing it.”

That might be because literally everyone is home right now — or should be! What else is there to do?

In addition to “until tomorrow,” there is the new “draw something” challenge, where users draw an object using the creative tools on Instagram Stories, then tag five friends to do it, too. There is “see a dog, share a dog,” which encourages people to post photos of their pets.

“We’ve seen a huge increase in TikTok content coming over to Instagram,” said Ms. Loren.

Many of the most viral challenges in the past week have centered around relatable quarantine habits. There’s one where you take a shot, or drink a glass of wine then tag 10 friends to do the same. There’s the “post what you’re doing right now” challenge which seems, anecdotally, to have taken off among parents. (The challenge is simple: post exactly what you’re doing in the moment, then tag friends to do the same.)

These challenges are “based around themes that everyone feels like they can relate to now in some way,” Ms. Loren said.

For those sick of challenges clogging their feeds, there may be no escaping it easily. “It’s the modern day chain mail but on Instagram,” said Tiffany Zhong, the founder and CEO of Zebra IQ, a Gen Z market research firm. “I think it’s going to go on for a while. There are many different branches and you’re going to always be tagged by someone somewhere as things spread through different communities and circles and categories.”

Ultimately, people are lonely so they are trying “all sorts of extreme ways of connecting,” said Ms. Zhong. “There’s even a meta challenge where the challenge is to simply tag 10 friends’ usernames.”

“I think we’re doing it out of boredom,” Ms. Parisi said. “It’s coronacation 2020.”



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