An American teenager could beat the most shared tweet record in the history of the social network, asking free nuggets at a fast food chain.
One should never underestimate a hungry teenager. Carter Wilkerson, a young 16-year-old American, is set to break the record for the most retweets on Twitter . On April 6, he addresses a vivid complaint to the fast-food chain Wendy’s: “Yo @Wendys, from how many retweets you give me free chicken nuggets for a year?” Official account answer: “18 million. “Carter Wilkerson makes a screenshot of the exchange and publishes it on Twitter. “HELP ME, I NEED NUGGETS!” On Wednesday morning, the tweet counted more than 2.6 million shares.
HELP ME PLEASE. A MAN NEEDS HIS NUGGS pic.twitter.com/4SrfHmEMo3
— Carter Wilkerson (@carterjwm) April 6, 2017
o date, the largest number of retweets is the American television host Ellen DeGeneres. More than 3.2 million people shared his self-made at the Oscar ceremony in 2014 . Carter Wilkerson is unlikely to get the 18 million retweets claimed by Wendy’s, roughly 5% of Twitter’s total audience, which boasts 319 million active users worldwide. Nevertheless, it is on track to become the most shared tweet of the social network.
Force and weakness
The story is typical of Twitter. It is easy to publish a striking image or a good word in 140 characters, or share it with a fingertip. This virality feeds on simple and strong feelings: one retweete a message because it is hilarious, moving, shocking or sad. Among the most common tweets on the site is a tribute by Louis Tomlinson , a member of the One Direction group, to his comrade Harry Styles, or a photo of Barack and Michelle Obama during the reelection of the former US president . The success of Carter Wilkerson’s tweet is due to his comic character. It is absurd to imagine that a teenager gets one year of free nuggets against 18 million retweets. Users have therefore taken up the challenge.
The tweet of Carter Wiklerson is also, in a sense, bad news for Twitter. The social network benefits from a broad media coverage, thanks to the success of its most virulent tweets. This was particularly visible in the US elections in 2016. Donald Trump, a former candidate who became president of the United States, is an addict to the social network. Each of his outrageous tweets has been the subject of hundreds of articles, indirectly putting Twitter in the limelight. Despite this exposure, the social network goes worse than ever. It is no longer able to recruit new users. Efforts to facilitate its use have not been sufficient. In the first quarter, sales increased by 1% .
In its beginnings, it was easy to compare Twitter to Facebook . Today, the analogy is painful. Facebook has six times more monthly users than its former rival, which was also overtaken by Instagram. Above all, the site of Mark Zuckerberg does not depend on this phenomenon of virality which is both the strength and weakness of Twitter. More than one in three Frenchmen connects to Facebook every day, without the need for polemic or funny images to remember the existence of the social network. Twitter, it is frequented by a faithful but restricted public, composed of journalists, celebrities, politicians, adolescents and brands. It is a social network that everyone talks about, but where few people go.