There’s no doubt that Upworthy, the progressive media-sharing site created by MoveOn founder Eli Pariser, has done well for itself. According to Upworthy editorial director Sara Critchfield, the site’s astronomical growth to 8.7 million unique visitors a month in its first half-year makes it one of the fastest-growing media enterprises of all time. It raised $8 million in funding a few weeks ago.
Part of Upworthy’s appeal is that it functions as an alternative to the dull hedonism of Buzzfeed-like listicles by offering clickbait that bursts at the seams with hope and goodwill. But the site requires readers to have more than just liberal politics and a desire for a good cry. If you venture down the Upworthy rabbit hole, you also have to be willing to look past the site’s chipper, borderline manic headlines, which parody Twitter account @UpWorthIt began poking fun at earlier this month.
So far, @UpWorthIt is doing an incredible job. At just a couple of weeks old, the parody account has some 2,600 followers, as well as 70 tweets that could easily be mistaken for real Upworthy headlines. More importantly, @UpWorthIt delivers another powerful kind of progressive catnip that Upworthy often overlooks: Satire.
It's a great addition to publication-mocking Twitter genre, already so amply filled by The Times Is On It, HuffPo Spoilers, and—of course—a new account making fun of us here at Fast Company. You should also check out the replies, where Upworthy editor-at-large Adam Mordecai seems to be critiquing nearly all the @upworthit jokes as if they were real Upworthy headlines (and letting people in on some of their clickable secrets):
So, can you tell the difference between @UpWorthIt and Upworthy? Try the quiz above.