Every popular social media platform has opened up a new type of story to a new generation of users, but TikTok’s impact has probably been the fastest as the user base of the short-form video platform rapidly grew past 1 billion users. Have given and changed social media stars. are making.
forefront is a media startup that seeks to define a new type of storytelling on the platform, aiming to popularize a network of individual actors who perform scripted short-form serial stories that are native to TikTok. Fictional storytelling in vlog form is clearly not a new development for social media, but Forefront hopes it will be able to capitalize on the discovery potential opened up by TikTok’s For You page (FYP) to continually build new audiences. Is.
The startup tells Nerdshala that they have raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Bam Ventures, Slow Ventures, BDMI, Alumni Ventures Group and HustleFund.
The startup has two dozen characters on TikTok, a handful of whom have hundreds of thousands of followers. Not all of the characters are hits, and Forefront’s team of writers and social media strategists have settled on nine characters, who they seek to create an interconnected “universe” where actors organically interact with each other. cross the path. While the team at Forefront is planning the character arc, it is up to the actors to shoot the video themselves.
The scripted content is often pretty soap opera-esque, but follows the format of popular videos on the platform; “Watch Us Confronting My Sister’s Cheating Fiancé” Means A Video From Forefront’s Most Popular CharacterSydneyWho has around 500k followers after debuting in June. In addition to helping her sister catch up with her cheating fiancé, Sydney also discusses the stress of her roommate breaking the lease prematurely and the lessons she learned from working in customer support for a dating app.
Forefront co-founder Ilan Benjamin told Nerdshala that his startup isn’t trying to mislead anyone into thinking their network of characters is real, noting that their profile bios highlight the fictional nature of the stories and Each video contains #fictional nickname. “We don’t want to confuse or mislead the audience, we want to entertain them,” says Benjamin.
Creating content for TikTok is meant to satisfy the FYP craze, which means a lot of viewers are catching characters like Sydney in the middle of their story, something that can create storytelling challenges when it comes to existing When it comes to balancing the patience of the fans. new audience.
“Plot mechanics can be repetitive,” Benjamin says. “It’s a constant balancing act, every video has to stand on its own and every single video has to be evergreen.”
For now, the company is largely focused on building its own network of stars and their audiences, while creating conversational AI chatbots and polls for characters to help guide stories to audiences. How do you interact with