A 19-year-old from Montreal has achieved what a lot of TikTok creators hoping to go viral crave: cross-promotion on other social media platforms. One of her recent streams on TikTok LIVE, where she popped popcorn kernels with a hair straightener while repeating seemingly nonsensical phrases and making sounds, started racking up millions of reposts on Twitter.
“I’ve never been more confused in my entire life dawg……” one person tweeted, sharing a clip from the TikTok LIVE that got over 24 million views. That confusion is, seemingly, how she went so viral.
😕 i’ve never been more confused in my entire life dawg…… pic.twitter.com/Y43gcySN1k
The creator, who goes by Pinkydoll on her various platforms, has over 241,000 TikTok followers and 18,000 Instagram followers. In another clip from the same TikTok LIVE, Pinkydoll pretends to lick an invisible ice cream cone and repeats “yes, yes, yes, ice cream so good.”
— Lynn 🌹🧁 (@cuPcakeZmuZe) July 12, 2023
Some of Pinkydoll’s behavior is in response to livestream viewers sending her virtual gifts, which can eventually be redeemed for money. In exchange, Pinkydoll will either act out something relevant to the emoji associated with the money — ice cream, for example — or give the user a shout-out during the livestream.
What is TikTok LIVE?
In 2019, TikTok launched TikTok LIVE to allow fans and creators to interact in real time. Only TikTok users with at least 1,000 followers who are over the age of 18 are allowed to livestream and to send or receive virtual gifts.
Virtual gifts cost different amounts of money for fans, and once creators receive one, they can redeem it for “TikTok Diamonds.” These Diamonds are then converted into real money that transfers automatically into the creator’s bank account. Diamonds are also awarded to creators based on the popularity of their videos.
Some TikTok users consider TikTok LIVE to be an entirely different social media platform. A lot of LIVE users, like Pinkydoll, seem to have tapped into what works on livestreams to win over followers and, in some cases, ask for gifts.
Some TikTok users have even made spoofs of what it’s like to “stumble upon” TikTok LIVE.
Know Your Meme has asserted that the “sometimes confusing and button-heavy layout of TikTok LIVE” is why “many people consider [it] inexplicable or strange.” One internet culture writer, Ryan Broderick, called it “ASMR adjacent” in his Garbage Day newsletter and asked, “Is it super dark and depressing? Sure, but at a certain level of abstraction and monetization, all algorithmic video just degrades into meaningless sensory information.”
Who is Pinkydoll?
“NPC” stands for “non-playable character” in a video game, background characters in a video game the players can’t control. A subset of TikTokers and YouTubers specialize in acting like NPCs or dolls. The Daily Dot has called it “fetish-adjacent content” and “a crossover point between OnlyFans and VTube.”
Pinkydoll’s background in posting NPC videos also explains some of her behavior in her livestreams. One Twitter user speculated that she “is a sometimes NPC imitator who performs for funds digital on TikTok live.”
— A T Wilkinson (@atwilkinson_) July 13, 2023
Pinkydoll addressed her newfound internet fame in a TikTok on July 12. She thanked everyone for the attention but questioned why most of the people and outlets talking about her were based in the U.S., rather than in Canada, where she’s from.
“I know I’ve been popping, popping, popping lately, but how come it’s all the U.S. people talk about me, sharing my things?” she asked. “Montreal people don’t want to see Montreal people win.”
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