Each well-liked social media platform has opened up a brand new kind of storytelling to a brand new technology of customers, however TikTok’s influence has maybe been the swiftest because the short-form video platform’s consumer base has rapidly swelled previous 1 billion customers and reworked how social media stars are made.
FourFront is a media startup that’s trying to outline a brand new kind of storytelling on the platform, aiming to popularize a community of particular person actors performing scripted short-form serialized tales that really feel native to TikTok. Fictionalized storytelling in vlog type is clearly not a brand new improvement for social media, however FourFront is hoping that it could capitalize on the discoverability opened up by TikTok’s For You Web page (FYP) to steadily construct new audiences.
The startup tells FiratNews that they’ve raised $1.5 million in seed funding from Bam Ventures, Sluggish Ventures, BDMI, Alumni Ventures Group and HustleFund.
The startup has a pair dozen characters on TikTok, with a handful racking up a number of a whole bunch of hundreds of followers. Not the entire characters have been hits, and FourFront’s workforce of writers and social media strategists have settled on 9 characters who they’re trying to create an interconnected “universe” round the place the actors organically cross paths with one another. Whereas FourFront’s workforce plans out the character arcs, it’s on the actors to shoot the movies themselves.
The scripted content material is commonly fairly cleaning soap opera-esque, however follows the format of well-liked movies on the platform; “watch us confront my sister’s dishonest fiancé LIVE” implores one video from FourFront’s hottest character “Sydney,” who has almost 500,000 followers after debuting in June. Along with serving to catch her sister’s dishonest fiancé, Sydney has additionally mentioned the stresses of her roommate breaking her lease early and the teachings she has discovered working in buyer assist for a relationship app.
FourFront co-founder Ilan Benjamin tells FiratNews that his startup isn’t attempting to mislead anybody into considering that their community of characters are actual, noting that their profile bios spotlight the fictional nature of the tales and that every of the movies embody the #fictional tag. “We don’t wish to confuse audiences or trick them, we wish them to be entertained,” Benjamin says.
Constructing content material for TikTok means catering to the whims of the FYP, which implies loads of viewers are catching characters like Sydney in the course of their storylines, one thing that may create storytelling challenges on the subject of balancing the persistence of current followers whereas capturing the curiosity of latest viewers.
“The plot mechanics may be repetitive,” Benjamin says. “It’s a continuing balancing act; each video has to face by itself, and each single video must be evergreen.”
For now, the corporate is essentially targeted on constructing out its community of stars and their audiences whereas trying to push boundaries in how audiences work together with characters utilizing tech merchandise like conversational AI chatbots and polls to assist direct the tales themselves.