3D Photo Trend / Phonky Town depicting three images of cats using the visual effect on TikTok.

3D Photo Trend / Phonky Town

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Updated Aug 14, 2022 at 06:05PM EDT by Philipp.

Added Jul 20, 2021 at 02:33PM EDT by Philipp.

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3D Photo Trend refers to a TikTok trend that involves creating an 11-image montage using a 3D zoom effect in the CapCut editing app, set to the phonk song "Phonky Town" by Playaphonk. The trend gained viral popularity in May 2021, spreading outside the app in the following months.


On October 29th, 2020, music producer PlayaPhonk[1] released the single "Phonky Town" on SoundCloud. The track accumulated nearly 6 million streams and over 137,000 likes in nine months (music audio[2] shown below).

Prior to its use in the 3D photo trend on TikTok, the song was used in miscellaneous videos on the app, gaining popularity in mid-May 2021.[3][4][5]

Starting approximately on May 19th, a trend in which participants created 11-image montages using the 3D zoom effect in the CapCut[6][7] editing app gained popularity on TikTok. The trend, dubbed 3D Photo Trend, used a cut version of "Phonky Town." While the exact origin of the format is unknown, on May 19th, TikTokers[8][9] @phlip._.phlop and @creatorofgarf posted the earliest found viral versions of the meme that received over 2.5 million views and 638,000 likes and 4.6 million views and 252,900 likes in two months (shown below, left and right).



In late May 2021, the trend received viral spread on TikTok, with multiple viral versions of the meme submitted by users. For example, on May 21st, 2021, the TikTok[10] account of Smudge the Cat posted an edit that received over 6.9 million views and 2 million likes (shown below, left). On May 22nd, TikToker[11] @leanbeefpatty posted a JoJo's Pose edit that gained over 9.1 million views and 1.6 million likes in two months (shown below, center).


On May 25th, Coub[12] user zawarudo posted the earliest found viral 3D Photo Trend edit outside of TikTok, a Big Floppa meme based on Big Floppa images created by VK[13] page floppa_cat. The post accumulated over 244,000 views and 2,900 likes in two months (shown below).

In late June, a re-edited version of zawarudo's meme became viral,[14] with more edits created with the 3D zoom effect posted on various sites.

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