The Internet’s Sudden Obsession With Wordle, Explained

Those gray and green squares actually mean something.

A screenshot of green and gray emoji squares showing results from a Wordle game. What is Wordle? Her...
Screenshot via Twitter

Your Twitter feed is littered with green and gray squares and cryptic conversations about mystery words. The answer is six letters long: Wordle. The internet is crushing hard on the online word game that won’t suck your time and battery, nor melt your brain like the Sunday crossword puzzle. Instead, Wordle takes just a few minutes of your time every day. Played the Wordle for the day already? You’ll have to wait until midnight for the next one.

The no-frills brain teaser was created by Brooklyn, New York-based software engineer Josh Wardle in 2021 as a guessing game for his partner. In October 2021, after lots of encouragement from the inside circle of OG players, Wardle released the basic web browser game to the public. Then, on Jan. 3, The New York Times published a feature on Wordle, and per Google Trends, searches for the game went from zero to 100. By the first week of January, over 100,000 people were tweeting about the game, and it’s trending on Twitter.

How Do You Play Wordle?

Wordle is very easy to play (though winning is another story). To get started, dust the cobwebs off the corners of your mind, channel your SAT word bank, and head to the not-so-glam Wordle site to be presented with your daily puzzle. You have six chances to guess the five-letter word-of-the-day.

Type in your first guess manually with the keyboard. If you get a letter right, it will turn green. If you get a letter right, but it’s in wrong place, it will appear yellow. If the letter doesn’t appear in the word at all, it will appear gray. If you guess the right word on the first shot, you’ll get a notification that you’re a genius. There are no clues or hints beyond the color responses, so you don’t have to be good at crossword puzzles or solving riddles or brain busters. Everyone has the same advantage (or disadvantage) here.

Unless of course you freeze up when put on the spot and can’t think of any five-letter-words. Which, according to Twitter, is a pretty common phenomenon.

How To Share Your Wordle Game On Twitter

Arguably the best part of Wordle is not the experience of playing the game, but participating in the communal Wordle bonding on social media. To add your green or gray squares to your Twitter feed, just tap the Share button after you get your results. This will copy an emoji-laden, spoiler-free link to your clipboard. Hit “Paste” on a Twitter draft to see your Wordle success spelled out in emojis.

To avoid ruining the fun for others, don’t screenshot the actual game until the next day. If you share with the official clipboard link, your Wordle score will show up with the game number, followed by how quickly you guessed it out of six tries. Because if you don’t share your Wordle score on Twitter, did you even 2022?