Increasingly, street art is not only a temporary medium that lives outside until its painted over or succumbs to the elements. Instead, it's finding a second and permanent life online, specifically through social media. Take Banksy's "Better Out Than In" residency, which the anonymous artist himself distributed through Instagram, posting a new work each day in October 2013. Many people only experienced Banksy's pieces through the Internet, and even if other murals, graffiti, or installations are still called "street art," they're consumed more widely by more people online than they ever would be in person.
Because many street artists are aware that their work will gain popularity through Twitter and Facebook, it's reasonable to suggest that they create works with this in mind. INSA, for one, is a street artist who's creating specifically for the Internet. His GIF-fiti is an artistic style that combines murals and GIFs. Others may consider how to make their work more shareable during the creation process in order to grow their fanbase. With many street artists selling work in galleries these days, a strong following also means increased sales.
Recently Tumblr published a list of the most popular posts about street art. The list represents a wide variety of artists with pieces all over the world, and many of them are unified by common trends. We identified these trends to determine What Makes Street Art Go Viral. Our list begs the question if these trends are just occurrences we have noticed or if, in the Internet age, artists are using these trends purposefully to bolster their reputations.