July 9th marks the BTS Army’s ninth birthday (specifically, its name’s official announcement). As Twitter celebrates the anniversary, Google has released a new street view experiment through its Arts & Culture platform in collaboration with the band. The BTS x Street Galleries exhibition brings viewers on a virtual tour of the group’s favorite artworks.
Each member has curated a virtual gallery, with their selections placed in various public locations that will be highly recognizable to BTS fans. J-Hope decorated the UN General Assembly, where BTS gave an address and shot a music video last year; RM guides fans through Seoul’s Namdaemun, where BTS performed for 2021’s Global Citizen Live festival.
To celebrate BTS and their massive fanbase, the BTS ARMY, Google, and YouTube have launched a variety of collaborations, including a new easter egg and a Street View tour.
Some BTS members are known art aficionados (including leader RM, who recently discussed his collection on the Art Basel podcast), but others haven’t yet been as public about their tastes. While there are minor glitches here and there, the experience provides an interesting look at each member’s artistic interests mixed with a healthy dose of personality. V describes a photo of a rowboat as “my kind of jam.” “Everyone knows I’m handsome, just like this hunky Adonis,” Jin writes of Antonio Corradini’s Adonis. “I love taking photos of the clouds because each cloud is completely different to the next,” Jungkook comments, which is the most Jungkook remark a person could make.
For the past month, YouTube has been hosting a “#MyBTStory challenge” that invited the innumerable fans of South Korean pop band BTS to share their favorite memories of the band’s nine-year career. That event is coming to a close today, but on July 13, it’ll be wrapping up with a special tribute video to the BTS ARMY on the band’s YouTube Channel.
Looking ahead, though, Google is continuing to collaborate with BTS, with the company launching two delightful new additions. The announcement is timed to coincide with “BTS ARMY Day,” on July 9, which celebrates the anniversary of the formation of the band’s fan group.
Kicking things off, Google Search has gained a new easter egg for the occasion. Simply head to Google.com and search for “BTS,” and on the search results page you should see a flashing purple heart.
Click it to flood the page with a never-ending stream of purple balloons that gently float toward the top of your screen. If you tap or click one of the normal balloons, it will pop and leave a splash of purple on the page.
Occasionally, you’ll see a heart-shaped balloon with a flashing microphone inside. Popping one of these balloons triggers a different audio clip from one of the band members saying “I purple you.” The phrase was coined in 2016 by band member Kim Tae-hyung (aka “V”), who said that “purple means I will trust and love you for a long time.”
Along with the audio, you’ll also be greeted with a handwritten message from one of the band members, directed to the BTS ARMY, to celebrate the group’s “birthday.” All in all, it’s a delightful tribute to both the band and the fans who make it all possible.
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