Tik Tok Stars: Nothing Good Lasts Forever

Tik Tok stars have millions of followers, fame, and fortune. But how long does it truly last?


Solen Feyissa, licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

TikTok influencers are not what what they once were, though some have found the path to lasting success.

Camryn Gray, Arts and Entertainment Editor

Gen Z royalty, making millions of dollars a year, but the end could be drawing near for those known as social media influencers — those whose job it is to post on social media platforms consistently to earn money by community interest or brand sponsorships. Specifically, TikTok influencers appear to have less fame and interest than they once did. 

Part of the reason that the careers of TikTokers are declining is that the world opening up again after the pandemic. With school, sports, and activities back in session, Gen Z has less time to spend hours scrolling on the app. The quarantine period kept users engaged with the platform, but the scene has clearly changed.

The slow decline of content houses in the TikTok industry has made an impact on the careers of content creators. A content house is essentially a group of social media influencers living in one house and making a profit by creating content together. Arguably, the two most notable TikTok houses were the Hype House and Sway House. The Sway House began its decline when members slowly started to leave in May 2020, after which the content house ended its existence. Meanwhile, the Hype House is still in existence, but they have lost their most popular influencers. 

The concept of longevity is key in staying relevant when it comes to making a living as a social media influencer. TikTokers came into the spotlight right before the pandemic, and they have been the face of social media since. However, the hype is drawing to an end, seeing as some struggle grasping onto fame beyond 15 second videos.

There are some TikTokers who have strategized to maximize their longevity to stay relevant and continue to earn money. Jaden Hossler, or “Jxdn,” has been able to enter the music industry successfully. Hossler has toured with Machine Gun Kelly and done a solo tour, proving that he is one of the few influencers who has planned for career longevity.

Josh Richards, ironically an enemy of Hossler, planned his longevity another way. The common routes of singing and acting are not always taken by TikTokers, like Richards. He went about becoming an investor and entering into the business and journalism world. He is a co-host on a successful podcast on Barstool Sports and has created and helped many businesses as well. He serves as proof that the typical Hollywood route of acting, singing, and dancing does not always have to be the avenue for success in the industry.

On the other hand, Addison Rae is lacking at trying to do the same thing as Hossler. With millions of followers, she has tried to turn her social media fame into an acting and music career. Rae made an appearance in the spin-off movie “He’s All That” on Netflix in 2021. Her performance was heavily criticized and mocked, but her acting is not the only part that is deprecated by others. Rae is beginning to release music, which has been called “heavily autotuned” and ridiculed by other TikTok users. Rae has managed to stay relevant, but her career may be drawing to its end if she does not manage to listen to and learn from her criticism.

Signs of weaknesses in the careers of TikTokers can be seen in some of the deals that they are doing. For example, Charli D’Amelio is a cast member on this year’s season of Dancing with the Stars. The show has an unspoken reputation of being the show that celebrities go on when their careers are diminishing. Charli and her mom, Heidi, are both appearing on the season. Charli has held the title of “Queen of TikTok” for a while. However, a Hollister clothing collaboration with her sister and a Dancing with the Stars appearance may not be enough to maintain a living as an influencer or change paths to the industry as a celebrity. 

There are some TikTokers who have lost grasp of their fame, not due to failed longevity or poor career moves but rather getting “canceled.” Recovering from getting canceled in the industry requires a lot of work and apologizing, but some may still not regain their career after personal choices and or actions.

Nessa Barrett, for example, was able to recover from her past mistake of inappropriately dancing to sacred Quran verses. Barrett was brutally bullied online for what she did, but after many apologies,  people started to forgive her on account of her actions deriving from a lack of maturity. However, other influencers like Zoe Laverne have not yet recovered from being canceled. Laverne made comments about Charli D’Amelio “stealing” her followers, in addition to facing accusations of mistreatment of minors. Laverne still has followers and a platform, but her star has certainly faded. 

The future for these TikTok influencers remains uncertain. However, some are making plans for the future to keep themselves relevant. The possibilities of cancelation, lack of viewer interest, and neglect from the spotlight are very real worries for influencers. Those that make a strong effort and display dedication will be able to ascend into a lasting career, while earning the reputation of a true celebrity.