Freshmen’s Facebook page goes viral

More than 5,600 students have joined the USC Meme Facebook page as of Thursday at 11:30 p.m.

The creators of the group, three freshmen, said they were surprised that it spread virally.

“When it was at two likes, I said it would never happen, people weren’t going to join, and I was about to quit the group,” said Ruthvik Peddavandla, a freshman majoring in engineering.

Creators Javan Shah (left), Adithya Manjunath (standing), and Ruthvik Peddavandla (right) now have more than 5,500 likes on their Facebook page USC Memes, which they launched this week.

When the page went live on Tuesday at 10 p.m., the three creators said they had produced six USC-related memes. Most of the memes posted on the page are made by visitors. They said they shared the group with the Class of 2015 and Marshall Undergraduates groups on Facebook and several of their friends.

“We barely did anything,” said Adithya Manjunath, a freshman majoring in communication. “It’s just the people on it who have posted their own memes, and it’s just gone viral.”

Javan Shah, a freshman majoring in business administration, said he was up until 2 a.m. moderating the page and scrolling through posts.

USC Memes was created after the three saw similar pages for other universities, though they believe USC was one of the first. Boston University created a similar page on Monday.

“We are really fond of memes,” Manjunath said. “We spend, or rather waste, a lot of time on memes. That’s the only reason we did it.”

Manjunath said he didn’t think many USC students followed Internet culture before the page went viral.

“I was under the illusion that people weren’t aware of memes at all,” Manjunath said. “But this page broke that belief because there are so many people who are really into creating and sharing them.”

The three creators originally launched the USC Memes Facebook page with six memes (one is pictured). Most memes on the page have been posted by visitors. - Courtesy of USC Memes

The creators said they think the desire to share and create memes is driven by community and competition.

“Everyone has their own story to tell through their own memes and people see the specific memes that show their commonality,” Manjunath said. “Then, people want to get as many likes as possible so they keep posting their own memes.”

Simca Bouma, a senior majoring in physics and math, said some of the meme creators needed to do some research before posting.

“It’s very mixed. What ruins it is some people don’t know how to use the memes,” Bouma said. “People should explore the world of memes before they post and that will keep it funny and popular.”

Chase Ginther, a freshman majoring in human performance, said he enjoyed the new community.

“I thought it was awesome,” Ginther said. “I made a few, but it’s something to do when I’m bored.”

Chelsea Stone contributed to this report.