If you are over the age of 19, there is a good chance you’ve never heard of Charli D’Amelio.
Let us fill you in.
A 16-year-old from the suburbs of Connecticut, D’Amelio just passed the 100 million follower threshold on TikTok.
With no prior fame or glamorous family background to jump-start her trajectory, D’Amelio first started posting lip-sync videos on TikTok in May of 2019 – just 18 months ago.
Today, she is by far the biggest star on TikTok and is one of only three “creators” to have eclipsed the 50 million mark. For reference:
- On YouTube, it took 14 years before any individual channel hit 100 million subscribers.
- D’Amelio’s following dwarfs that of well-known celebrities who are active on the platform. Dwayne, “The Rock” Johnson, has less than 30 million followers. Mark Cuban, a regular TikToker, less than half a million.
How Does She Do It? Analysts say her mass appeal comes from being “relatable” and “authentic.” A columnist at CNET wrote, “it’s clear she has tapped into the authenticity that TikTok users crave.”
For example – earlier this year her TikTok bio read: “Don’t worry, I don’t get the hype either.”
And D’Amelio is quickly becoming big business. This year she has 1) made her film debut 2) appeared in a Super Bowl commercial 3) had a Dunkin’ Donuts drink named after her 4) launched a nail polish line 5) and is about to launch her first book: Essentially Charli: The Ultimate Guide to Keeping It Real.
All told, Forbes estimated she has earned $4 million this year.
Why It Matters
For social media platforms – the power of mega stars cannot be underestimated. Snapchat announced yesterday it will create a fund to pay its top creators $1 million per day to keep them on the platform.