This week, across Twitter, an effervescent meme has sprung up all over again, though it can be a little tough to decipher. So we’ll explain it.
One side effect of Twitter upping its character count from 140 to 280 is that it’s given people a lot more room to play around with pictographs and ASCII art. That’s how you end up with really popular tweets like this:
It doesn’t make much sense in it’s embedded form, because embedded tweets are flipped — the text follows the image or video. Here is how it would appear in your feed, if you were just scrolling through Twitter.
Oh no! How unfortunate for Piccolo, punched clean through with such force.
So the stars and sparkles are just a visual effect of text bleeding into an image, fracturing the boundary between mediums as you scroll through your feed. It’s not just used for acts of violence, here’s a bird shredding it up.
It could also be used for the context of downward motion, like if you were sprinkling or pouring something. Like this…
Okay, does this make sense now? I’ll fully admit I was sort of baffled by the sparkles until I did some digging, because different Twitter clients display tweets in different ways, and the tweet doesn’t make sense unless the text and image line up in a certain way. And sometimes the sparkles are falling and sometimes they’re going up and sometimes it’s violent and sometimes it’s sweet? It’s kinda all over the place. But it’s nice and people are just throwing the sparkles on top of things they like and that’s always fun.