In honor of the ninth anniversary of the origin of BTS ARMY — the name of the K-pop superstars’ massive fanbase — on July 9, 2022, Google has launched a pair of new collabs with BTS.
Starting Friday (U.S. time zones), fans who search for “BTS” on Google Search can unlock a secret Easter egg. On the search results page for BTS (on mobile or desktop), users can click on the purple heart icon that appears next to the BTS header on the upper left-hand side. That will unleash a flurry of purple balloons that you can pop with a click or tap; clicking on the balloons with microphones will reveal special audio messages from the band members themselves.
“BTS has such a positive energy, and we wanted to bring a bit of that to Search,” Elissa Wolf, Google’s lead delight features software engineer, said in a statement provided to Variety. “I’m a fan myself, so I was thrilled to be able to work on this project!”
In addition, Google Arts & Culture is celebrating BTS ARMY in a unique collaboration with BTS, “BTS x Street Galleries.” The collaboration takes fans on a Street View tour of the cities and buildings that hold special memories for BTS. In each of the 14 locations, fans can create their own Street Gallery with artworks curated by the band and exclusive photographs and creations by RM, Jin, SUGA, j-hope, V, Jimin and Jung Kook.
BTS also teamed up with YouTube Shorts to exclusively host the #MyBTStory challenge. The monthlong challenge, which invited ARMY and music fans everywhere to share their most unforgettable BTS memories, wraps today and will conclude with the release of a special ARMY tribute video on BTS’ official YouTube channel next Wednesday, July 13.
BTS officially named their adoring fans ARMY — an acronym that stands for “Adorable Representative MC for Youth” — in 2013.
The K-pop group currently have more than 67 million subscribers on their official YouTube channel, BangtanTV, making them the third most-subscribed music artists on the platform (behind Blackpink and Justin Bieber). To date, the group have earned six music videos in YouTube’s Billion Views Club. The video for “Butter” amassed 108.2 million views in its first 24 hours — holding YouTube’s No. 1 spot on that metric. In second place: BTS’s “Dynamite,” which scored 101.1 million views in the initial 24-hour period.