HRC-pink-red-equal-signIf you’re on Facebook, you surely noticed the pink equal sign on top of a red background that showed up in many posts and profile pages in the few days. It was created by the Human Rights Campaign and it spread like wildfire as people all over the social media network wanted to show their support for gay marriage.

I’m trying to remember anything else like it in terms of images on Facebook going viral. Regardless of where you stand on the actual issue, it’s fascinating to look at it from a viral marketing standpoint.

“For a long time, when people stood up for a cause and weren’t all physically standing shoulder to shoulder, the size of their impact wasn’t immediately apparent. But today, we can see the spread of an idea online in greater detail than ever before. That’s data well worth finding,” wrote Facebook data scientist Eytan Bakshy on their blog.

They found that on this past Tuesday March 26th, more than twice as many users changed their profile pictures as did the previous Tuesday. Also, users closest to 30-years old changed their profile picture the most, with roughly 3.5% changing to some version of the pink/red equal sign image. And overall, women were more likely than men to use this image as a profile picture.

I’m going to keep an eye on any other stats that come out on this because I don’t know if I’ve ever seen an image spread so far and so quickly on Facebook. Even “Gangnam Style” didn’t spread this fast!