I don’t know what the hell is going on in China’s weirdest new social network
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Photo credit: Fork

Fork is like Instagram blended with the stickers from WeChat but the stickers are not sanitized – they’re edgy and full of in-jokes

Tech in Asia

Rage faces, Obama’s “not bad” face, something that looks like Dick Butt, bombs, knives, and that Uber map pin. Those are just some of the things that make a new social app in China stand out from the crowd. It’s a photo app that’s weird and anarchic, full of bizarre stickers and comic effects. Users can expect to have their photos modified and then reposted by others.

It’s called Fork.

The app fits in perfectly with China’s growing diao si culture. The term is a slang word for “loser,” but in recent years it has morphed to describe young people who are underdogs and oddballs. It’s a very loose term for a person who feels left behind by the Chinese economic miracle that has created a huge gap in income inequality. In a nation that’s still conservative and battered by constant propaganda to be “harmonious” and not rock the boat, diao si comes with only the merest patina of rebel spirit.

Fork is like Instagram blended with the stickers from WeChat and Line, with a soupçon of silliness and a dash of diao si. Importantly, the stickers are not cute and sanitized like you find in most messaging or photo apps – they’re edgy and full of memes and in-jokes.

In your face, Bieber

You could make that Dick Butt thing fart in Bieber’s face:

Photo credit: Fork

Photo credit: Fork

Or tell the world you’re stuck in traffic with rage faces:

Photo credit: Fork

Photo credit: Fork

Or whatever the hell is happening in these photos I found inside Fork:

Fork-photo-app-image-04Perhaps the most unique thing about Fork is that you can “refork” other people’s images, allowing you to change all the stickers and speech bubbles and things. Like this:

Fork-photo-app-image-05

Or, if you’re less lucky, like this:

Photo credit: Fork

Photo credit: Fork

The Fork team opted not to answer Tech in Asia‘s queries other than to say that the app (which has a solid English translation and is known only by its English name, even though most of the users are Chinese) is keen to gain a global audience.

This article was first published in Tech in Asia.

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