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Viral dress shows power of social media

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) – A dress took over thousands of Twitter and Facebook feeds on Thursday evening.

“It is definitely blue and black, definitely blue and black. I don’t see the white and gold at all,” said Rachel Clark.

Sometime around 7 p.m. last night, a Tumblr user posted a photo of a dress, saying she and her friends could not decide if it was white and gold, or blue and black.

The image spread like wildfire, trending on Twitter and getting more than 28 million hits on Buzzfeed. Experts say it is, indeed, black and blue, but some viewers aren’t convinced.

“I’ve seen both, but it’s primarily black and blue,” said Jon Faust.

“To me it’s white and gold,” said John Haines.

The illusion of it has been explained by image filters and the way rods and cones in our eyes perceive colors. The debate may be less about what color it really is, than what color we want it to be.

“This whole controversy over, ‘Is it blue? Is it black?’ Is it silver?’ ‘Is it gold?’ People get to line up, take sides and at the end of the day, somebody’s going to be right,” said Lorraine Ball of Round Peg marketing.

Ball says that it’s hard to say why images like this go viral, but it shows how important it is for businesses to embrace social media.

“You’ve got to be prepared to go, I’m the designer of this dress, ‘Would you like me to make something that gets you talked about in the same way?’” said Ball.

And as for all the time you spend talking about these viral trends? Ball says, the internet isn’t all to blame.

“Fifty years ago, you’d have been arguing about this over the water-cooler and you wouldn’t have gotten any work done then, either,” said Ball.