How a voice-messaging app became the Internet’s big bad-mouthed meme

Meet Bunny the Rabbit, the Tumblr star of Zoobe.

 

Michelle Jaworski

Internet Culture

Published Jul 20, 2015   Updated Feb 29, 2020, 11:12 pm CST

This bunny might just be the angriest thing on the Internet.

You wouldn’t expect it at first. She’s cute, she’s fluffy, and her life’s full of excitement: she goes to the beach, dances, paints, and skydives, as seen in her videos. But once you unmute her and she speaks, it’s an entirely different story.

Meet Bunny the Rabbit, the Tumblr star of Zoobe.

Who is she? She’s a foul-mouthed furball who regrets almost nothing, and if she does expect her to rage about it; how she never loses her voice we’ll never know. Her bio states that she was abandoned by her family, who went to explore the mountains without her and never came back before the folks over at Zoobe found her.

She’s supposed to be and function a certain way, but the Internet had different plans for her. Nobody puts Bunny in a corner.

This is what happens when Tumblr discovers something and uses it for a vastly different purpose than the one for which it was designed. But that wasn’t always the case for Bunny—or Zoobe, for that matter.

The Berlin-based startup Zoobe was launched in 2013 by founder and CEO Lenard F. Krawinkel, who’s also an award-winning filmmaker. It wanted to transform the way we communicated by introducing 3D-animated characters to “send more personal, emotive messages” in short videos that were 30 seconds or less. People could send them to their friends, family, and the app, available on iOS and Android, was rather simple to use. It was silly and fun, and according to Know Your Meme, Zoobe also had a large audience in Eastern European countries.

As of June, 4 million people created more than 160 million videos without too much fanfare. A few videos started going semi-viral back in May, but the real fun began after a fanartist and animator on Tumblr started to make the videos.

Kylee Henke started to post videos in early July, each one more popular than the next, and creating the most iconic version of a filthy-mouthed Bunny: pissed, excited, horny, and unable to contain herself all at once.

And people went absolutely nuts for it, with at least one person making fanart of Henke as Bunny.

“I think people are catching on to the fact that it’s really to rant and say really crude things through cute little fuzzy characters,” Henke told Touchvision.

But once you give a meme life, it grows bigger than any one person could’ve made it. With more people discovering Zoobe from Henke, they’ve tried to emulate Bunny on their own, along with giving the rest of the Zoobe family shiny personalities. And well, they’re all loudmouths with absolutely no filter, and Left Shark even makes an unexpected appearance.

But Bunny is still the favorite, whether she’s ranting about Minion tampons, male celebrity worship, or those goddamn spiders.

It’s like the Madden GIF generator all over again. This time, Zoobe is in full support of its users using the app in as many philosophical and dirty ways as possible. Its employees can’t officially endorse anything, but you might get a favorite.

https://twitter.com/zoobeapp/status/618838262539550720

https://twitter.com/zoobeapp/status/620930527739138048

No doubt, the users are transforming Zoobe to another level—albeit one the company never intended but nonetheless is enjoying with the rest of us.

Photo via Zoobe.com | Remix by Jason Reed

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*First Published: Jul 20, 2015, 8:45 pm CDT