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What does ICYMI mean and how do you use it?

In today’s world, the news comes at a lightning-fast pace. Blink and you may be missing an important story. This is where Internet initialism, ICYMI, comes in.

What it means

ICYMI stands for “in case you missed it”, a phrase that is often used when you pick up someone on a news item or information that they may have missed. It usually begins with a sentence, which conveys to the reader or listener that the event they may not be aware of happened recently.

While the phrase “in case you missed it”

; has been used for a long time, the widespread use of ICYMI is a fairly new phenomenon. The rise of initialism has been directly related to our transition from static news sources to fast online sources.

The Internet has made the news cycle much faster. Instead of relying on TV or newspapers, we can get news in an instant, just as things happen. This fast cycle is what created the culture around initialism ICYM. People were used to receiving the news half a day after it came out, but with the internet, missing news became much more common.

A faster world

The Twitter logo over some vintage magazines.
rvlsoft / Shutterstock

ICYMI became prominent on Twitter. Several years after its launch, Twitter became a significant source of news for millions of people. Given the platform’s original 140-character limit, humans often used initialisms. ICYMI was one of them, and people used it to share news with their followers. This cycle and the use of ICYMI has only increased since then.

Initialism has even been taken up by actual news. Because they run hundreds or thousands of stories each week, they often also create large-sized pieces that describe stories that people may have missed. The BBC actually has a series called “ICYMI”, for which it compiles several latest news.

ICYMI is also used to draw attention to stories that are not part of the larger news cycle. These often include bits of human interest or news about scientific progress or economics, which may not have made headlines.

RELATED: How to disable Twitter “News for you” messages

Fill in gaps

Like many initials, ICYMI is not used in just one context. It is often used to fill in gaps in the latest information to ask questions.

For example, let’s say someone asks a question on an online forum about where to buy cheap video games. Someone might respond with: “ICYMI, there is a big sale in the digital store right now that you should check out.”

You can also use it when sending messages to friends and family. In this context, it is usually used to capture people on life events that they may have missed on your social media. For example, you could write: “ICYMI, we have a new dog in the house.”

In this situation, you can also use “ICYDK”, which stands for “if you did not know.”

How to use ICYMI

As we covered above, you can use ICYMI in a variety of contexts, from personal messages to friends to creating and sharing content on the internet. However, it is almost always used to share relatively new information. Otherwise, it may be better with ICYDK.

Here are some examples of using ICYMI:

  • “ICYMI, the Supreme Court, in an 8-1 decision, voted to uphold the current Data Protection Act.”
  • “ICYMI Johnny just graduated from elementary school!”
  • “ICYMI, Main Street will be closed for the day.”
  • “ICYMI, gift cards have been available with a 10% discount over the past week.”

There are many other internet initialisms out there, including IDGI and FWIW. Read them all out and you will soon become an expert!

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