BTS has teamed up with Google as part of a multimedia collaboration that launched on Friday in the US in honor of the ninth anniversary of ARMY, the name of the fandom associated with the wildly popular K-pop hitmakers.
The collaboration spans Google Search (where users can interact with a fun Easter Egg), as well as Google Street View and YouTube. For the latter, BTS has been encouraging ARMY to submit videos in which they share their favorite BTS memories as part of the #MyBTStory challenge. On the group’s official YouTube channel this Wednesday, July 13, a special ARMY video will showcase all of those fan-submitted tributes.
First up, though, let’s talk about the BTS Google Search Easter egg, since that one is the simplest to interact with. All you need to do? Just type “BTS” into a blank Google Search box.
BTS Google Search Easter egg
You can do this on either a desktop or a mobile device. Once you’ve done that, see the purple balloon on the screen?
Click it, and then watch as a swarm of purple balloons floats up to slowly fill your screen (purple, by the way, is the color associated with the BTS ARMY, for the unaware). You’ll also see that some of those balloons have microphones in them. Click those, and a special audio message from the band members will play.
Individual written messages from each member of the band also appear on the screen, with each tap of a balloon.
Expanded collaboration with Google
As we noted above, meanwhile, this Easter egg is not the extent of the BTS partnership with Google.
You can see a heartwarming example of a fan’s #MYBTStory submission to YouTube, below, ahead of the tribute video that hits the Google-owned video site next week.
The Google Arts & Culture online platform, meanwhile, is celebrating the BTS ARMY in its own way, with its “BTS x Street Galleries” collaboration.
Fans can take a Google Street View tour of various cities and buildings around the world that hold a special meaning for the bandmates. There are 14 locations in all, and fans can interact with photos and art curated by BTS members RM, SUGA, Jin, j-hope, V, Jimin, and Jung Kook. Or they can create their own Street Gallery.
In the SEOM, Proof, solo songs, and more
All of this comes as the band is taking an extended break at the moment, partly so that individual members can pursue solo projects. But even with the break that was announced in June, it’s already clear that 2022 will prove to be one of the band’s busiest in recent memory.
The group held the final run of its Permission to Dance-themed concerts in Las Vegas earlier this year, for example, in addition to performing at the GRAMMYs. The band released an anthology comeback album, Proof, while BTS member j-hope is set to perform as a headliner at Lollapalooza later this month. j-hope’s highly anticipated solo debut album, Jack in the Box, is also coming on July 15.
At the end of June, meanwhile, BTS released a mobile game, called In the SEOM.
The game combines Candy Crush– and Animal Crossing-like gameplay elements for an experience that includes unlocking BTS context, beating puzzles, decorating an island, and designing outfits for the cute animated likenesses of the BTS members.