Harlem Shake

What Does Harlem Shake Mean?

The Harlem Shake is a viral YouTube video that became an Internet meme in early February 2013. The video is usually half a minute long and features people unceremoniously flopping and flailing about, starting with a single person and then a group joining in about halfway through the video. The name of the meme is derived from “Harlem Shake,” a song in the video by Baauer, a house and electro artist.

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Techopedia Explains Harlem Shake

The video that evolved into the Harlem Shake meme was first posted by five teens from Queensland, Australia. The video appealed to the masses, so others began uploading their versions. On February 10, 2013, the rate of uploads for videos related to the Harlem Shake reached 4,000/day. The next day, over 11,000 versions had been uploaded, with unique views totaling approximately 44 million. As of the February 15, 2013, there were 175 million views from approximately 40,000 uploaded versions of the Harlem Shake video.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.