Just three months ago, the phrase ‘TikTok’ was about as recognisable as the cast of Married At First Sight; you might be able to pick the platform, but from there all features blur into one haze of mystery with nothing particularly unique to distinguish it from the rest of the crowd. The faces are similar to those of the influencers you’d expect to see on Instagram, only this time there are no lengthy Instagram Lives or IGTV explanations. Instead, you’re treated to 15 seconds of hilarity – be it in the form of a dance video, mash-up, animation, or something remarkably bizarre.
It’s hard to believe that TikTok has existed since 2014, although then it was formerly known as Musical.ly. In November it was acquired by ByteDance, a Beijing-based media and tech company, for a reported $1 billion USD. And after the name was changed to TikTok, the rest, as they say, is history. While many suggest the app was already flourishing, it’s only since the world has been encapsulated by lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19 that it’s really become something of a household name, with everyone from celebrities, influencers and us normal folk vying for 15 seconds of fame.
Under isolation, we’ve seen everything from dance tutorials to lip syncing go viral off the TikTok platform, catapulting some users into a level of fame even Instagram’s top influencers would be envious of. And while most influencers are now struggling to push products on their Instagram platform, those on TikTok are reaping the benefits of newfound fame. According to estimates from Party Casino, the top 10 most followed people on TikTok are making some serious cash.
Dancer Charli Damelio sits atop the list with an incredible 46 million followers. And to compensate her dancing efforts, Damelio is earning over $73,000 per post. Yep, just a 15 second video uploaded to her followers on TikTok on a sponsored post and boom: $73,000. Following closely behind is Loren Gray with 42 million followers, who now earns $67,275 per post.
It might be easy to poke fun at influencers – regardless of whether they use Instagram or TikTok – but when you look at the money they’re making per post, it’s clear that these tech-savvy kids have created a digital empire the rest of us can only marvel at. You may not have taken to the platform before, but we’re betting you’ll be taking to TikTok with gusto now.
Here are the top 10 highest-earners on TikTok, according to Party Casino.
- charlidamelio: 45.9 million followers, $73,510 per post
- lorengray: 42 million followers, $67,275 per post
- zachking: 39.6 million followers, $63,622 per post
- riyaz.14: 34.2 million followers, $54,986 per post
- babyariel: 31.9 million followers, $51,065 per post
- addisonre: 31.2 million followers, $50,028 per post
- spencerx: 27.1 million followers, $43,534 per post
- gilmhercroes: 25.6 million followers, $41,070 per post
- _arishfakhan_: 24.1 million followers, $38,587 per post
- kristenhancher: 23.6 million followers, $37,829 per post