- How to watch Real Madrid vs. Athletic Bilbao online for free 4 Weeks Ago
- ‘Star Trek’s Jonathan Frakes calls out your lies with this new meme Saturday 3:46 PM
- #JusticeForLucca trends after video shows police slam Black teen’s head into pavement Saturday 3:11 PM
- The internet is shocked to learn that Goombas do, in fact, have arms Saturday 2:02 PM
- PayPal, GoFundMe cut off armed militia that detains migrants at border Saturday 1:16 PM
- Barnwood theft may be on the rise because of ‘Fixer Upper’—and fans aren’t having it Saturday 12:23 PM
- Literary Twitter calls out Dzanc Books for Islamophobic, racist novel Saturday 11:40 AM
- How to watch Crawford vs. Khan online Saturday 10:00 AM
- Beyoncé has 2 more projects coming to Netflix after ‘Homecoming’ Saturday 9:53 AM
- How to watch Danny Garcia vs. Adrian Granados for free Saturday 9:00 AM
- The ‘Feeling Cute Challenge’ turns ugly after correctional officers abuse it Saturday 7:30 AM
- How to watch ‘How High 2’ for free Saturday 7:00 AM
- Swipe This! My ex-BFF keeps sliding into my DMs, but I don’t want to be friends Saturday 6:30 AM
- Watch ‘I Am Somebody’s Child: The Regina Louise Story’ for free Saturday 6:00 AM
- How to watch Barcelona vs. Real Sociedad for free Saturday 6:00 AM
So this is what the kids are up to these days.
Behold, there’s a new, clever way of doing fanction: Celebrity fan accounts on Instagram are sharing screencaps of fake text messages with the hashtag #imagines.
Without context, a single image from an account using the #imagines tag is almost indecipherable. These aren’t leaked iMessage conversations with celebrities—they’re fictionalized ones, with the viewer of the image as the main character in the fiction.
Fanfiction that pairs the reader with whatever character they desire has been around for quite some time (if you don’t believe me, check out the first-person tag on archiveofourown.org), but it’s usually not so visible in the mainstream. For a long time, Tumblr was the social media platform for fanfiction, but the adult content ban and the subsequent loss in users may offer some explanation as to why fanfiction is becoming more prominent on other social media platforms.
Different accounts are taking different approaches to making their #imagines. Some are sharing self-contained snippets of flirty or funny conversations that aren’t intended to be a part of a greater narrative.
Some accounts are telling longer, dramatic stories, like this popular Tom Holland text account that has stories of the reader having Holland’s babies, having a pregnancy scare with him, sharing the Christmas season with him, or more recently, breaking up with him after he cheated on the reader. When referring to the reader, the writers behind these fictions will often use y/n for “your name.”
In some ways, it’s interesting to see fanfiction evolve to fit the new rules of the internet. Screencaps of text messages is a unique way to format fanfiction for a platform like Instagram. On the other hand, the fact that almost all of the popular accounts and posts are about real people rather than fictional characters is more than a little uncomfortable. While fanfiction about celebrities is nothing new, fake screencaps of iMessage blur the fictional space and make this kind of fanfiction particularly awkward from the outside looking in.
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree