A little more than a week ago, marketer Tom Orbach absolutely delighted Twitter when he unveiled his LinkedIn Viral Post Generator, a website that uses AI to ape viral LinkedIn posts, cringe and all. The internet absolutely ate it up, so much so that a company decided to pay real money to own the thing.
According to Orbach, he created the Viral Post Generator using an AI, which was tasked with analyzing more than 100,000 posts that had gone viral on LinkedIn. On Aug. 15, he debuted the tool on Twitter and said the AI could now write obnoxious posts on its own and personalize them for anyone. All users had to do was tell the AI what they did today, include a piece of inspirational advice, and choose the cringe level (from low to high on a sliding scale).
The results were hilarious works of art, some of which I could honestly imagine being on LinkedIn, which is full of useless advice masquerading as information that will change your life and conquer all your obstacles. (Sure, sometimes we need inspiration more for an uplifting tone than substantive information. Fine.) Of course, some of the posts also apparently inspired by porn, because this is the internet.
Hate that CEO already.
Omg, I know these people. Leave my inbox alone!
I don’t know how brushing your teeth fits into making more money but OK.
I hate to-do lists because they always get longer.
After nearly two weeks of spreading laughs, on Thursday, Orbach announced that his Viral Post Generator had been acquired by Taplio, a Wyoming-based advertising agency specialized in LinkedIn content. While some of us here at Gizmodo originally had our doubts that the tool had been purchased for actual money, it looks like it’s legit. As of Thursday, Taplio’s name and call to action button was on the Viral Post Generator.
“1 week from #launch to #acquisition - not bad at all,” Orbach wrote on LinkedIn. “From the bottom of my heart, thank you for using Viral Post Generator ❤️ It’ll be run by Taplio from now on. I will use this money to fund my next projects. (Oh you’re gonna love them).”
Orbach didn’t disclose how much he had been paid for his tool. Gizmodo reached out to Orbach and Taplio on Thursday for comment but did not receive responses by the time of publication.
While I personally love the Viral Post Generator, the fact that it’s learned what kinds of things go viral on LinkedIn and how to write them reminds me that content on the social media network is just as inauthentic as stuff on Instagram, where retouched and fake aspirational images reign. On LinkedIn, long speeches, inspirational advice, and tales of overcoming hardship get the clicks. All that’s fine, but perfectly tailored posts, whether they be on LinkedIn, Instagram, or another social network, can get tiring after a while.