Kiwi teen's trending experiment explodes

Liam Martin's i#iMessagemeliam hashtag becomes one of the most popular in the world.

Liam Martin's i#iMessagemeliam hashtag becomes one of the most popular in the world.

What happens when you give out your personal contact details after becoming a global trend on Twitter?

Fourteen thousand messages, constant FaceTime requests, and a phone that can't handle the strain.

Liam Martin, 17, a Stuff intern, decided a few days ago he would have a go at trending worldwide Twitter.

"I was at work. I just decided, why not try to trend worldwide on Twitter?" Martin said.

"I didn't think I actually would. And then I thought, 'why not make it something crazy like my iMessage?'.

"I kept tweeting and it started to get retweeted. It just blew up. Now my phone doesn't work properly."

Known as  @waverider_on Instagram – where he has more than 1.5 million followers – he merely wanted to give his fans a way to talk to him.

So he promised to post his iMessage details – effectively giving his phone number to the world – if the #iMessagemeliam hashtag trended worldwide.

His first tweet, introducing the hashtag to his 50,000 followers, was retweeted more than 400 times. Later that day, his hashtag was among the most popular in the world.

Then the messages started to roll in.

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He had 13,144 messages on his phone about 2pm today, but that number was climbing. The actual total was unknown, because his phone is struggling to load them.

He's trying valiantly to keep up, chipping away at the more than 14,000 he had last night, but it's not going well.

"I made a two-hour effort last night to respond to them, but I'm making no progress. I may just have to change my number.

"I know it was stupid on my part. But it was worth it."

Since his hashtag went viral, articles about Martin have appeared in publications like BuzzFeed, E! News, and the NY Post.

He said he was not overly concerned about people having his number – at the end of the day, his mission had been accomplished.

"It probably wasn't the smartest idea to give out my number… but hey, I trended worldwide."

 - Stuff


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