Here’s how to find the most popular Internet images in real time

Sometimes (all of the time) I feel like a massive non-tech-savvy dweebus, like when I didn’t know what FTW meant and I thought it meant “f*** the world” and everyone made fun of me. It’s hard to stay on top of the Internet. I can’t even imagine what my dad is going through, since he still signs his tweets “G2G.” 

Sometimes we all need help figuring out what’s going on in this great big crazy Internet. Which is why Oublio, a website that shows you the most popular image of the day from different online platforms, is remarkable. Since the site selection is limited, it’s not representative of everything that’s going on online, but it showcases a slice of digital life and shows you user favorites from some of the most beloved websites. 

Visit the site, and you’ll be greeted with the most popular image on Reddit. You can change the image to see what’s most popular on Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and Flickr. Facebook’s API doesn’t allow this kind of query, and Pinterest doesn’t have an API yet, so they’re off the table at the moment, but by highlighting these five websites, Oublio culls what amounts to a trending lists of images. 

 “Sometimes I get the feeling that there’s too much content to process on the internet, even when I just visit my favorite sites and blogs. So I wanted to see how far I could push this idea of content filtering, by just focusing on a very small number of items. This influenced the design of the site too. The goal was for people to be able to understand what the site was about in under a second, so all non-essential elements have been stripped away,” site creator Dominic Coey explains. 

Oublio sticks with a few pockets of the Internet, but since these sites are so popular, it gives you a good overview of what’s currently popular.

“Each site certainly has a specific character. Celebrities feature quite heavily on Instagram and Twitter. Tumblr and Reddit have more visual puns, and general funny stuff, and Flickr is artsy photos,” Coey says. “I’d like to think that this covers a pretty wide range of interests, and that most people would find something they like on any given visit to Oublio. In a sense this is the most social of all social media – it’s the stuff that has received the most extreme social validation.” 

Social validation doesn’t always mean “best,” of course, so you might not be impressed by any of the photos that appear on Oublio – but if you’re wondering what the images are that everyone else is re-tweeting and upvoting, Oublio is the easiest way to find out. 

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