Back in 2007, Keeping Up with the Kardashians essentially created a new influencer niche all by itself: the influencer family.
The show, which ran for over a decade, catapulted reality TV’s First Family to fame, as hundreds of millions of people followed their lives. But reality TV isn’t enough for today’s digital native generation. TikTok stars like Charli D’Amelio and Addison Rae Easterling are increasingly bringing their families into the frame. Gen-Z doesn’t feel like keeping up with the Kardashians: these new “TikTok families” are where it’s at.
“It’s appealing because it’s different and fresh,” says Joe Gagliese, co-founder and CEO of Viral Nation, to LA Mag. “We live in a world where there’s millions of influencers and tons of them on the come-up, so anything unique you can do to stand out and be different is what’s going to give you the attention and opportunities.”
TikTok families aren’t averse to controversy, either. Charli D’Amelio and her sister Dixie recently got into hot water after a dinner video where she acted like a “spoiled brat.” “The reality is when you go viral through the news with something like that, it actually introduces them to a whole new group of people,” Gagliese says. In other words, there’s no such thing as bad press!
While the Kardashians shot to fame via a network deal and 20 seasons of reality TV, future influencer families could end up relying a lot more on YouTube, TikTok, and other platforms to monetize. “We’re living in a time where, in the next four to five years, a YouTube channel with a strong subscriber base could make more financial sense than a reality TV show,” says Gagliese.
At Viral Nation, with a network of over 100 million influencers, we have our radars tuned to uncover influencer families and other new formats. Right now, it’s too early to tell whether TikTok families are the future or merely a passing fad. But here’s what we know: Gen Z loves engagement and relatable content. These bigger-than-life families use YouTube, Insta, and TikTok to shine a light on the good, bad, (and ugly!) of what we’re all going, day-to-day.
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