Life Tech How a Chewbacca mask helped break the internet

How a Chewbacca mask helped break the internet

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A seemingly regular spot of shopping has sent a mother-of-two from the United States into internet stardom thanks to a Chewbacca mask, her jovial disposition and a new kind of Facebook post.

Candyce Payne, 37, from Texas, set a new record for the number of views on a Facebook Live video over the weekend, with a staggering 125.5 million plays  … and counting. The previous record was 10 million.

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Ms Payne set the record on Friday (AEST) when she live streamed herself in her car while opening and trying on a purring Chewbacca mask she purchased from a local shop.

Internet users seemed to love Ms Payne’s video because of the joy she expressed and how much she laughed at herself wearing the mask.

Watch the video below:

She obliterated the previous record set by social media news site Buzzfeed, who broadcast a video of watermelons being smashed.

“That’s just crazy,” Mrs Payne told the BBC. “I’m just laughing – in all honesty, that is ridiculous. I’ve looked at the number of views and it just seems like someone is just playing with a calculator.

“I could see myself in the camera, and I saw this view and I could not stop laughing at how gleeful Chewbacca looked. I thought ‘Chewbacca’s found his joy!'”

chewbacca mum
Ms Payne and her children pose with the new masks and gifts from Kohl’s. Photo: Facebook

Hundreds of thousands of Facebook users left messages to Ms Payne in the comments section lauding the video.

Lisa McLeroy posted: “I’m not sure what I love more…the super cool amazing mask or the level of your joy!!!”.

Following the success of the post, a representative from Kohl’s, the shop where Ms Payne purchased the mask, visited her family’s house to present them with more masks, plus vouchers and gifts.

Facebook started its live streaming function in April. It allows users to film themselves and stream the footage live on their Facebook profiles.

Streams can be up to 30 minutes long and once over they are saved on the person’s Facebook profile for playback by friends.

Ms Payne has been live streaming regularly since the feature was enabled. She shared moments in the car with her children, singing at choir practice and choosing what make-up to wear.

But none of them received anywhere near the response that the Chewbacca video did.

“When you are a stay-at-home mom, every now and then you just need an adult conversation. Like ‘Please someone else out there in the universe or Internet tell me I’m not the only one who finds this funny’.”

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