What is trendjacking?

Hijacking a trend for personal gain

Trendjacking is the purposeful (and sometimes accidental) hijacking of a trend that results in personal gains, such as increased clout, exposure, followers, hits, and revenue. For example, if a company uses trending hashtags related to a protest on Twitter to get more clicks on their tweets, they are trendjacking.

You will often see trendjacking on social sites (although it may happen with trends in other contexts, such as fashion, TV show genres, etc.), such as Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. Companies are often the culprits, but influencers and normal users may also be guilty. Trends they may attempt to hop on include current events, holidays, anniversaries, TV shows or movies, and sporting events.

Trendjacking can be done positively and cleverly in ways that contribute to the trend. For example, Duracell tweeted a tribute to Philadelphia Eagles fans after the Eagles won the Super Bowl in 2018 (Eagles fans are infamously known for throwing batteries at opposing players on the field).

However, they can also lead to major cringe. For example, some companies tried to insert their products into tributes for 9/11 on Twitter, which led to understandable backlash and eventual apologies from the companies.


Did you see her trendjacking post on the recent riots?
Yeah, it screamed performative activism
Condolences tweet to those asked to trendjack the Chris Rock slap incident
Condolences tweet to those asked to trendjack the Chris Rock slap incident

Related Slang


Updated March 1, 2023

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