The love of millions of people worldwide, TikTok has been the talk of the town from news outlets to word of mouth in the past few years. Seemingly overnight, the social media platform skyrocketed in its number of members. Business Insider stated that it had over 1.5 billion downloads by the end of 2019.
Recently, this trend has been picked up by Auburn University students. Beginning this year, a group of male students decided to take to TikTok themselves. Tagged as “The Auburn Hype House,” the group now sits at approximately 65,000 followers on the social media platform.
Mikey McCarty, freshman in exploratory, said that the idea started when a close friend reached out and pitched it to him.
“Austin messaged me and asked if I knew a bunch of guys that did TikTok,” McCarty said. “I was like ‘Alright, I’ll make a group chat,’ and that’s when I just added everybody that I knew — and people were adding people that they knew.”
Once the group chat was made, their friend Brodie created the account, and the rest was history.
Many of the members already had an exceptional amount of followers on their individual accounts, but A.J. Fitzpatrick, sophomore in electrical engineering, calls himself the “normal person of the group.” Fitzpatrick credits his inclusion in the group to his prior friendship with McCarty. The two were simply hanging out when the idea for a video arose, and Fitzpatrick was included, he said.
“Everybody else around me is famous, but I feel like I just happened to be in the right place at the right time,” Fitzpatrick said.
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While sometimes the success of an account is unexplainable, the guys in the group said they credit their large following to two things — the diversity of their friend group and the time the account was created.
“A lot of people commented about our diversity; we just have a lot of different faces in there,” McCarty explains.
Caden Prather, freshman in marketing, noted that they began the account at the perfect time, right before TikTok really took off as a social media platform.
“We just got on a trend and got on it right at the beginning before it started going up,” Prather said.
Unlike the original “Hype House,” an account on TikTok that has a following of 9.8 million, the group of friends do not all live in a giant house together. However, they do stay connected through their group chat and find time to meet up and make more videos.
The friends said their favorite TikTok has yet to be posted, but will be coming soon. The concept will give a nod to a well-known, beloved 90s show.
Ricky Vaughn, freshman in electrical engineering, added that they are looking into producing merchandise for the group to wear, and may eventually open it up for the public to purchase.
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