We hate to break it to you guys, but several of your favorite influencers on TikTok may not be real people. Yep, you read that right. Instead, they may actually be fictional characters played by actors hired by the social media and entertainment startup company, FourFront.
We always knew social media was sometimes too good to be true! According to a new report from Insider on Tuesday, the company has created 22 fictional characters or “TikTok influencers” and hired writers to develop their storylines over the past eight months. The actors cast to portray each online personality upload new videos to their accounts daily, opening about their fake, whirlwind everyday lives for hundreds of thousands of followers. Collectively, they have amassed 1.93 million followers and over 281 million views on the platform so far!
It’s kind of a genius idea, no?! But despite using the hashtag #fictional in the video captions, fans most likely don’t even realize that the influencers they are following are not real people. Co-founder of FourFront Ilan Benjamin told Insider that the company is not attempting to deceive anyone and wants fans to know that these aren’t legit influencers now, saying:
“The more that people know this is fictional, the more that they can just get lost in it and be entertained by it.”
According to Benjamin, the characters’ stories are interconnected — similar to the Marvel Cinematic Universe — and will eventually come together in a live “reveal party” on Thursday. He explained to the publication that the plot lines are meant to get audiences invested in the characters and have them interact through the comments.
But who are some of these fake influencers??? Some of the most popular players include Sydney (@sydneyplus), who has over 494,600 followers, Tia (@thatsthetia) with over 111,200 followers, Ollie (@oxenfreeollie), with around 150,900 followers, and Butler Darren (@butlerdarren), who has more than 98,800 followers. Ch-ch-check out some of their videos (below):
When your revenge plans lead to.. new friends? #wedding #cheater #fictional #relationship #friends #revenge
♬ original sound – Sydney
bruh who put me in Coming to America pt. 3?? #royal #storytime #boyfriend #blackgirl
♬ original sound – Tia
Now back you our regular programming: MY MESSY A$$ LIFE #billionaire #boss #affair #rich #dramatok #fictional #spillthetea #richtok
♬ Dville Santa x Laboratory o – ????????????????????????
uh yeah…so this happened ???? #fictional #lgbtq #trans #gay #parents
♬ Pluto Projector – Rex Orange County
Tia, who recently learned that her boyfriend is a wealthy prince from Africa in the videos, is played by aspiring 29-year-old actress Cameisha Cotton, who has a full-time career in social media and films her storylines when she’s at home. She shared with Fast Company that acting out the role of Tia has provided her with an outlet for creativity, explaining:
“I appreciate being able to be a part of the creative process because I get to improv. I get to come up with what Tia is wearing and what her makeup is going to be and how she’s wearing her hair.”
And following the success on TikTok, Benjamin believes that their characters, like Tia, could move to other social media platforms to make money through sponsored content:
“We can see them working with the traditional creative economy, expanding to YouTube, Instagram, and other platforms … that would allow them not only to continue to generate more content, but also to monetize that content long term.”
Scripted storytelling on social media is, without a doubt, sounding more and more like the future. And to be honest, our minds are kind of blown right now by this operation! Were you shocked by any of these influencers not being real, Perezcious readers? Sound OFF with your reactions in the comments (below)!
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