Rob Pattinson is arguably the biggest celebrity on Instagram. The 27-year-old British heartthrob now has over 600 million followers. That’s more than triple the amount he got a few years ago when he first started his account. So it’s no wonder people are losing their minds over his recent decision to switch to TikTok.
On Tuesday night (September 4), Pattinson hopped on TikTok to dish on a variety of topics with his fans. The video, titled “Rob Pattinson, Twitter and Me”, was just over two hours long and featured the most famous British actor and model answering questions about everything from why he’s making the switch to TikTok to his thoughts on the #MeToo movement.
Pattinson’s manager, Ian Gore, previously confirmed to InStyle that the singer/actor would be doing a series of live-streaming Q&As to his fans on social media, but this is the first time fans have gotten a peek behind the scenes of what it’s like to be a celebrity on TikTok.
In the clip, Pattinson opens up about the viral phenomenon, revealing that he’s been hearing about TikTok for years but had never really bothered to investigate it. Upon doing some research, he realized just how much he had to offer his audience on the app. In the end, he decided that the Q&As were a great opportunity to connect with his fans, and he’s been using them to grow his following ever since.
Why Twitter? Why Now?
Pattinson started his Twitter account in 2012 and has steadily grown his following there. In March 2018, he reached 200 million followers. So it’s been a while coming, but he eventually cracked the code to becoming a popular Tweeter.
If you’re unfamiliar, Twitter is a microblogging platform where users can post brief messages (commonly referred to as “tweets”) to their followers.
The platform is generally considered to be on the boring side of the social media spectrum, which is why many major celebrities have shied away from it. And, generally speaking, celebrities don’t really use it to get involved in political debates or discussions. But that’s exactly what makes it such a powerful medium for celebrities.
While on the campaign trail ahead of the UK’s 2019 General Election, Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted that he looked forward to “replying to [Pattinson’s] interesting views on Brexit.” Johnson is a frequent user of Twitter and has more than doubled his account’s following since the start of this year.
Johnson’s comment is a good example of how Twitter can be used for both serious business and political discussions. And it’s what attracted Pattinson to the platform in the first place.
In the clip, the UK heartthrob reveals that he started using Twitter as a tool to inform fans about all the things he was doing, but that he eventually grew to genuinely enjoy the platform. “I think for me, it was just about keeping people up to date and letting them in on the news of what I’m doing. But over the last year, it’s just developed into something more,” he says.
Pattinson also opens up about how he feels about the current state of celebrity in general. “I just find it really funny when I see people that I know, and they’re like, ‘Oh my God, look at me,'” he says in the video. “Like, I know they want attention. But it’s like, I don’t want to meet them at the airport because I’ve never heard of them. I don’t know what floor they’re on.”
The actor goes on to suggest that we’re living in a “post-celebrity” era, and he’s right. Since the start of this year, several high-profile figures have deleted their accounts in the wake of the #MeToo movement. In January, the list included James Franco, Aziz Ansari, and Richard Simmons.
But don’t worry — celebrities are still around. Just look at Matt Damon, the handsome star of Good Will Hunting and Finding Nemo. Besides, it’s quite possible that you’re following a number of major celebrities on TikTok without even realizing it.
What will the future of celebrity on TikTok look like?
While we wait for the next major celebrity scandal to unfold, let’s take a moment to appreciate what we’ve got. In the meantime, celebrities will keep on keeping on as usual, which is exactly what we need.
In the video, Pattinson says that he wants to develop an “alternative” form of celebrity that doesn’t rely on scandals and outrage. Instead, he’s determined to provide his audience with interesting content that they won’t see anywhere else. And he’s proven so far that he can do this.
So in the meantime, we’ve got our fix for celebrity drama. And that’s something to celebrate.