Not Just For Kids: the rise of parent influencers on TikTok
The coronavirus pandemic saw a surge in people joining TikTok to keep entertained while stuck at home, resulting in it becoming the world’s most downloaded app. Its success is a result of its short, fun and organic content, which also means it represents a platform that can appeal to every demographic. While many parents may have joined the app initially as a means to connect and bond with their children, they have now fostered a community in which they can unleash their own creativity, showcasing the highs and lows that come with being a parent whilst still being relatable to the app’s predominantly Gen Z userbase. The numbers speak for themselves regarding the popularity of parent’s presence on TikTok: hashtag #parentsofTikTok so far has over eight-hundred million views and #momsofTikTok over eighteen billion views.
Lockdown has enabled families to spend more time together, with young TikTok users who may have previously been filming with their friends now recruiting their parents to join in on their videos. One fitting TikTok challenge that went viral – amassing over three billion views – during quarantine was ‘I’m just a kid’, a family affair in which users re-created childhood pictures with their parents, to Simple Plan’s song of the same name. Even celebrities have filmed TikToks with their children. Jessica Alba’s account is filled with dance challenges that involve her family while also promoting her business The Honest Company. Gordon Ramsay and his daughter Tilly have gone viral several times, joining in on challenges like ‘Flip the switch’, which got over eight million views with people getting to see Ramsay switching into his daughters dress!
Parents of already popular TikTok influencers have also realised the lucrative opportunities the app presents and proceeded to capitalise on this to become influencers themselves. Addison Rae, one of the biggest influencers on the platform with fifty-four million followers, first became known for doing dance challenges with her mum Sheri Easterling and saw a rise in her popularity after Mariah Carey liked her video to Carey’s song Obsessed. The family have profited from their marketability, launching off-platform careers and making a brand for themselves. Both Rae and her parents signed with talent agency WME at the beginning of this year and the mother and daughter now have a podcast on Spotify, titled ‘Mama Knows Best’. Similarly, the parents of Charli D’Amelio, the most followed individual on the app, have also signed with talent agencies and have popular TikTok accounts, spurred on from their children’s success. Bramty Juliette was another influencer who made sure to build a brand around her family, using the #BramFam in her videos which document her family life with her twin children; the hashtag currently has ninety-seven million views. A mother-daughter duo to rival Addison and Sheri would be Krithi Srinivas and her mother Sridevi, who have blown up over the last few weeks. Krithi only started to see her views growing after she included her mother in her videos, with viewers so impressed by how dedicated she was to learn the dances. Unlike in most cases, their story happened in reverse, as she gained fame on the app thanks to her mother.
The influencer, Chriselle Lim, gained accidental fame on TikTok after a tweet praising her style and referring to her as ‘rich mom’ went viral. Lim has now made ‘rich mom’ her online alter-ego on her TikTok account, in which she gives advice and lets us into her life with her husband and two daughters. She has gained two million followers on the app and racked up millions of views, such as her viral video on how to look rich in sweats.
While the future of TikTok is uncertain, especially with Trump threatening to ban the app in the US and Hong Kong and India having already done so, one thing that is for sure is that it would not be just kids that would miss it!