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Blingee is an online photo editor which allows users to apply special effects and add on layers to their uploaded images, which can then be shared with friends. The tacky, over-the-top aesthetics of these images somehow appealed to a larger user-base, many of whom used the site for the ironic appreciation. While Blingee was originally used to decorate one’s social networking profile, its cheesy effect filters gradually became used to create original artworks and celebrity fan art.
Blingee was launched in June 2006 as part of the Bauer Teen Network, which runs a number of teen-focused websites. The website started to gain traction in the same year with the growing use of the service by MySpace users for profile avatars and images.
According to Quantcast, Blingee attracts over 1.3 million visitors per month with about a quarter of the users based in the United States. According to Alexa rankings, the website is ranked at 18,410 across the world and 11,641 in the United States (as of August 2011). Both sites’ data indicate the majority of site visitors are female with 61% of the userbase.
- The browser-based editor allows a wide range of add-on decorations for photographs, from simple animated stamps like glitter and twinkling stars to more complex superimposition of additional layers.
- The website hosts a pretty large library of photo add-ons, from which users can select various items and add to their “goodie bag.”
- Blingee users may interact with each others by forming or joining groups, as well as partipating in reviews and ratings of publicly shared Blingee artworks.
- The finished image can be shared via embeddable code, e-mail, MySpace, Hi5 and Piczo profiles directly from the site.
Blingee images can be seen across various online blogs including Tumblr, Blogger and Wordpress, as well as forums and imageboards like 4chan and Gaia Online. On Tumblr, there are several single topic blogs dedicated to curating a range of Blingee-generated artworks like Blingee Porty, Blingee Nation, Blingee Science and Fuck Yeah Comic Blingees. It is also mentioned as an example on the TVTropes for “So Bad It’s Good” in New Media.
The politicial satire and gossip website Wonkette has a semi-regular feature titled Washington Blingees, featuring Blingeed pictures of politicians and other notable figures in current events.
Snoop Dogg Blingee
By far the most popular Blingee image to be used is a black and white GIF of Snoop Dogg jigging from side to side, originally taken from the 2004 rap hit single “Drop It’s Like It Hot.” His merry dance is frequently placed into unfitting and dark scenes for humorous juxtaposition.
Search queries for Blingee climbed quickly between 2006 and 2007, reaching it’s peak in popularity in December 2007, after which it has had a steady decline in popularity from which it has not recovered.