Meet the Creators of TikTokRoom, the Next-Generation TMZ
Read our December 23, 2020 follow-up to this interview with Nat and Elasia from our series, Circling Back, where we check in with creators and influencers who have hit new milestones: Nat and Elasia on How TikTok Room Gained 1 Million Followers in Six Months.
On Tuesday morning, Nat and Elasia woke up to find their Instagram account, TikTok Room, had hit one million followers. I say woke up, but the two young women (they won’t give their last names or exact ages, but both are under 20) hadn’t actually gone to sleep. Instead, they were on FaceTime all night — Nat in Texas and Elasia in New Jersey — covering what they say is the largest internet drama they’ve ever documented during their almost four years of attempting to do so on Instagram.
When a bunch of prominent TikTok creators in both Hype House and Sway House began unfollowing each other on Instagram, TikTok Room was the first place to spot that something was afoot.
“Yikes bunch of influencers are unfollowing eachother today,” they captioned what would end up being a series of screenshots of evidence, followed by a tweet from TikTok creator and Hype House member Chase Hudson that they say was the inciting incident for the online explosion.
“All of this drama going on is because I kissed Nessa [Barrett] when we were both single,” he wrote in a now-deleted post. In fact, most of what ensued after this tweet is now wiped from the creators’ pages, but the drama between Hudson, Charli D’Amelio, Josh Richardson, and Nessa Barrett is preserved on TikTok Room, which became both creators’ and viewers’ go-to source for what was happening Monday evening well into Tuesday morning. Hudson kissed Barrett, D’Amelio subtweeted Barrett, D’Amelio directly tweeted at Hudson, and a slew of other TikTok influencers chirped in the background.
It was like if a bunch of 17-year-olds suddenly had millions of people watching their high school drama. Actually, it was exactly that, and the TikTok Room account became a kind of a character in the saga itself.
On Monday morning, Nat and Elasia say TikTok Room had 891,000 followers on Instagram, gained over the past year thanks to their diligent posting of TikTok gossip lurking in the comments of social media posts, live streams, and YouTube videos. Overnight, they gained well over 100,000 more, and by Wednesday had 1.2 million people keeping up with TikTok’s carousel of gossip.
While this is certainly their most successful rodeo, it’s not their first. The pair, who say they met in the comments of an Instagram post four years ago, started the now-defunct account @musershaderoom in 2016 to document Musical.ly gossip. They reached about 400,000 followers on that account before Musical.ly was relaunched as TikTok. The first drama post on TikTok Room was born on March 19, 2019, official “TIKTOKROOM” watermark and all.
TikTok Room is not the first account of its kind. It is heavily influenced, both in name and practice, by Instagram accounts like TheShadeRoom (19.6 million followers) and other others like CommentsByCelebs (1.5 million followers). By spotting celebrity activity in the wild, often in Instagram comments and online videos such as Instagram Lives, these accounts keep pace with outlets like TMZ without ever stepping out of their homes or putting a camera in anyone’s face. But while those accounts have gained popularity for their coverage of traditional celebrities, TikTok Room’s latest milestone could mean online and TikTok creators have officially entered the mainstream chat — at least, if Nat and Elasia have anything to say about it.
What’s the hardest part about running TikTok Room?
Elasia: I think the biggest challenge for us is trying to satisfy now a million people and balancing it with normal life. It requires you to be on your phone 24/7. It helps having two people for sure.
Do you ever worry about upsetting creators?
Elasia: It's not a bad thing that you're posted on TikTok Room. Like most times we do post positive things, but basically if you put something out there it's going to get posted. A lot of influencers don't understand that. We know what to post and what not to post. We're very on top of things.
Nat: We don’t put private information, like finstas that are only with their close friends.
Do you ever get sent those things and then you have to just not post them?
Nat: All the time and people get mad at us for it.
You hit one million followers in the middle of Monday night’s drama. What did that feel like?
Elasia: It was such a mix of emotions. I was more happy...but I feel like it was stressful and overwhelming because I couldn't fathom everything.
When did you notice the Monday night drama kicking off?
Elasia: When Chase posted on Twitter what everyone was doing, I think that's when everybody was like, Oh my God. We started getting so many followers — it happened so fast.
Were you up all night?
Nat: Yeah, me and her were both on FaceTime. With two owners, we double-post a lot, so it helped.
Elasia: It was just fun. It was stressful too though, because we had to keep up with everything and our DMs broke at one point. It was just a mess.
What does it feel like to see TikToks referencing your account?
Nat: It's so great. We used to get a lot of criticism, but for once it was all just positive and people were appreciating what we do.
What are your plans for the account?
Elasia: We just want to make it like the next TMZ, the go-to news source for TikTok. We're already headed towards that goal.