Article Digital

Social Media Tagging Games

Oct 27, 2014

What’s The Trend:
The existence of various social media platforms has led to the creation of an assortment of social media tagging games. Typically, a participant completes some sort of challenge or task, and then selects or “tags” their friends via social media to do the same.

What’s New:
Social media tagging games have somewhat evolved from the concept of a chain letter. They have become a way to get a message out, or to simply share something entertaining with friends. The “pass it on” mentality of chain letters endures by people then tagging their friends and with social platforms, the games can go viral.(1)

In some forms, tagging games have become a way to raise awareness and money for a cause. Most recently this past summer, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge caught the internet by storm when a few friends from Boston College devised a challenge in support of their friend who was diagnosed with ALS. Participants needed to dump a bucket of ice over their head or donate $100 to ALS. Participants then challenged friends via ‘tags’ to do the same within 24 hours. The ALS Association said it received $22.9 million dollars in donations from July 29 to Aug 19, 2014, up from $1.9million during the same time period last year. Even more impressive is that the money came from over half a million new donors. Oprah, Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Jennifer Lopez and Lady Gaga are among the many celebrities to have been tagged and participated in the game.(2)

Last March in the U.K., a “no makeup selfie” campaign emerged when women posted selfies with no makeup and encouraged friends to do the same in order to raise cancer awareness. Although some argued that this awareness became intertwined with vanity and narcissism, the campaign managed to raise several million pounds for Cancer Research in the U.K.(3)

In late fall 2013, a yoga challenge spread through the hashtag #stopdropandyoga. An individual does a yoga pose in their current setting, posts the picture, and then nominates friends to do the same. This challenge has been praised as an interactive way to help facilitate conversation around yoga, whereas the practice itself is generally a quiet undertaking.(4) Another Facebook tagging game invites people to a five-day-challenge to write three things on their status that they are grateful for, at which point they then nominate others to do the same.(5)

Although the specifics of the above games are different, they have the strong commonality in that they are a fun, positive form of peer pressure. They all generate a sense of community among participants by generating conversation through the posting to social network platforms. Accepting the challenge also gives participants a form of “social currency” with their friends/followers.(6)

Why It Matters:
Hispanics are highly social and active across many different media platforms making social media tagging games a viable, interactive way to engage audiences and include them as an active part of the conversation. As a community of influencers, Latinos could have a strong impact by using the social media tagging aspect to mobilize and encourage friends to do the same.


  1. Stenovec, Timothy. (2014, August). “The Reasons the Ice Bucket Challenge Went Viral.” Huffington Post.
  2. Stenovec, Timothy. (2014, August). “The Reasons the Ice Bucket Challenge Went Viral.” Huffington Post.
  3. Ciambriello, Roo. (2014, March). “How a ‘No Makeup Selfie’ Trend Suddenly Became a Cancer Awareness Effort.” AdWeek.
  4. Wischhover, Cheryl. (2014, June). “#Stopdropandyoga Is the New Planking.” Yahoo! Beauty.
  5. Sury, Vidya. (2014, July). “The Positive Challenge With Gratitude.” Vidya Sury Blog by The Strategic Mama.
  6. Ball, Mindee. (2014, August). “The Ice Bucket Challenge and Why Social Media Fundraising Works.” Wavys.

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