For millions of social media users, the platform offers the opportunity to connect with family and friends. However, others have built their profile to hit influencer status where they shape discussions and even get paid.
Khabane Lame, who recently became an Italian citizen, has built a TikTok profile where multinational companies now approach him to advertise for them.
Hollywood actor and former WWE wrestler Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson has also built an Instagram profile where he is today the highest-paid black celebrity on the platform. With over 147 million followers at the time, the actor and producer charged $882,000 per post.
Fast forward to 2022, The Rock has not only increased his followers but has also doubled the amount he charges per post. He charges $1,713,000 per post, making him the highest-paid Instagram star and the sixth-highest paid celebrity on Instagram’s rich list.
Khabane Lame and Dwayne Johnson may be in a league of their own but there are other emerging social media sensations like Howie Melia.
Melia is a college dropout turned social media sensation making six figures per annum. He dropped out of college over accumulated debt amounting to $50,000 but has defied all odds to be one of the few decent earners on social media.
His voyage on social media started with the now defunct platform Vine, where he began his silent, yet silly videos. He migrated to YouTube, Instagram and Snapchat following the collapse of Vine.
Melia managed his social media pages on a part-time basis because he had a full-time job as a delivery driver earning $25,000 a year. During that period, his videos started garnering millions of views.
According to the Sun, Snapchat paid Melia $150,000 in 2021 after three of his clips went viral on its Spotlight platform. He also capitalized on his popularity on Snapchat to grow his YouTube account which now has over 3 million subscribers.
Generating video content on social media was to help Melia over his shyness, but as fate will have it, it has become his main source of hustle. Today, he has 10 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube.
When he first dropped out of school, his parents did not support his decision. However, they changed their mind once they saw his success. “I never told them about social media because I didn’t think they could comprehend how it works and how you can really live off it,” the Sun quoted him as saying.
Truly, Melia is a star in the making, and considering his rising influence, he will soon be rubbing shoulders with top Hollywood stars.