For better or worse, you've probably watched, or at least heard of, Invisible Children's #kony2012 campaign. With some 57 million views in four days, "KONY 2012" is a full-fledged mega-meme. Just how quickly did this viral video blow up? By one measure, it was the fastest of all Internet time. But the odds were stacked against it going viral.
About the campaign, briefly: Joseph Kony is a brutal Ugandan guerrilla leader and all-around terrible man. Invisible Children, a San Diego-based charity, wants you to know who he is. Many people have many opinions on the campaign (not the man, who is terrible); The Atlantic Wire offers an explainer here.
Views on #kony2012 aside, Visible Measures, a third-party measurement firm of viral video, has been tracking the growth of the video's Internet notoriety since the documentary was uploaded on Monday. By the firm's "True Reach" measure, charted out above, the KONY 2012 campaign reached 70 million aggregate views in the shortest amount of time ever, four days.
"True Reach is the combination of related video assets across the web," Visible Measures' Matt Fiorentino writes to us by email. In the case of Kony 2012, this includes Invisible Children's two online documentaries plus any video responses other users have created, which according to the firm have a total of 77.9 million collective views as of this writing. "We combine the view totals for each of these clips to provide a holistic performance metric for the campaign."