Settling into work one morning a couple weeks ago, I began a brisk stroll through Facebook. Several of my friends had shared a site called drakeweather.com, most with accompanying copy along the lines of: “Just hold on, it’s raining down,” “Started from the cloudy, now we clear.” This was an obvious call to action for me to click through and so I didn’t waste any time. Once there, I discovered Drake delivering my current weather. “Clever,” I thought, “Genius, actually.”
Working in social media, I tend to analyze viral hits more than the average person. I took note of some prominent social sharing options, a visually appealing image, useful information, and that guy Drake of course. Powerful ingredients to a viral hit. Fast forward a few days when my eyes widened with excitement as I found out that the site was actually created by a GA Front-End Web Development student, Tom Galle. It was hard to track down Tom for an interview (he was busy dealing with People, Huffington Post, and Time to name just a few) but we finally made it happen.
Where did you get the inspiration to make drakeweather.com?
We figured that for our next project, we should do something with Drake. We both like his Nothing Was The Same album cover and felt we should try to do something with that since it’s such a cool image.
Very random, but we quickly came up with the idea to make a weather app that changes the background according to your current local weather. We both found it super funny and immediately said to each other “We should make that ASAP.”
Was it hard to make? Did you run into any obstacles?
It wasn’t that difficult. I coded part of it and got help from my friend Bert who is a super experienced coder.
What was the first traction you saw online? And what was your reaction as it began to snowball?
Kind or crazy. I was actually testing the facebook like button on the page to see if it showed the correct thumbnail image on Facebook. Some friends picked it up immediately while I was testing, and from then on it was a snowball effect.
I did a few projects that went viral before, but this fast is very rare. I started to see it everywhere in my twitter and Facebook timelines.
And quickly big blogs followed. Time, Complex, a lot of music-related magazines, Huffington post, The Verge, CBC News, The Guardian, People Magazine, etc.
The big rush went on for 3-4 days, resulting in 600K views, 61K Facebook likes and 8K Tweets.
That’s crazy! What did you think of everyone’s reaction?
We were a little overwhelmed!
Alright, I’ll let you get back to your viral hit, but I can’t let you go without asking: What’s your favorite Drake song?
Good choice. And just curious, if you had a direct line to Drake, what would you want to say?
I’d ask if he wants to be my Facebook friend.
Kate is the Social Media & Content Manager at General Assembly.