If you feel like your Twitter timeline has recently been inundated by flying dogs and celebrities, you’re not alone: “Swipe up to make fly” memes are making a comeback. Though this particular meme format isn’t new — it’s been kicking since at least 2015 — it had resurfaced with a vengeance in recent days. (Select All is going to go ahead and credit Joel Tyler’s tweet featuring Fiona the baby hippo from the Cincinnati Zoo for reigniting the meme.)
The gag only works on mobile. If you’re not reading this on a phone, try to do something about that. You’ll be much more entertained. There’s something oddly entertaining about flicking your finger and watching Oprah — or really whatever — float toward the sky.
If you want to make your own, you’ve got a couple of options. The first, and easiest depending on your technical skill level, would be to create an image with a transparent background in Photoshop. But, I’m assuming if you’re still reading this guide, you might not know how to do that. Or you didn’t want to spend the money on Photoshop. Either way, here’s how to create your own version of the “Swipe to Make Fly” memes using the poor woman’s Photoshop: Preview. (Windows friends, I am sorry, but I am not even going to attempt this in MS Paint.)
Step 1: Select your image. (Preferably something you have the rights to. We here at Select All would never advise you illegally use someone else’s photo in the pursuit of fleeting internet fame.) Make sure to save it as a PNG file, otherwise you won’t be able to edit it properly later. Pro tip: Opting for something with a plain background, ideally white, will yield best results.
Step 2: Open your PNG file in Preview. Tap the toolbox icon at the top of the screen. The select the Instant Alpha tool by tapping the wand icon in the upper left-hand side of the screen. Click on the background of the image you want to remove, the Instant Alpha tool will begin to highlight in red. Once you’ve selected what you need to remove, hit Delete. You should be left with just the image you want to make fly.
Step 3: Save your PNG. If you’ve done it correctly, you’ll have isolated the image you want to make fly. Add the requisite “Swipe up to make [insert chosen thing here] fly” caption and send your tweet out into the world.