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It seems that nearly every day there is a new trend on TikTok. Some really show your creative outlet like the Wes Anderson Trend trend or, most recently “Girl Dinner.” (I still don’t get this one). Needless to say, TikTok trends are entertaining for us all. Even if you don’t participate in them, watching them on your FYP is something we all do — especially those wild TikTok Lives that have been everywhere

One of the newest trends on TikTok is definitely not for me, but I have been very intrigued by those who are participating in it. If you don’t have an idea of what I’m talking about yet, I’m talking about the AI/Non-Playing Characters (NPC) TikTok Live trend. 

The other day when I was scrolling through my FYP, one of these lives came up. A TikTok user by the name of @pinkydollreal kept thanking people for the “gifts” on the live and was placing popcorn kernels in a flat iron. (Yes, you heard me right.) I was so confused and had no idea what was going on. It didn’t seem like she was doing much other than acting… odd? Needless to say, I was beyond confused, but intrigued. 

Turns out, this trend is taking over TikTok, and more and more users are catching on. The reason? Well, you can make some serious cash by participating.

Wait, what are people doing on TikTok Live?

So, if you’ve seen any of these NPC videos, you’ll notice that she isn’t doing much other than making weird body movements, saying “Ice cream, so good” and thanking people for the “gifts.” You are probably wondering, WTF is the point?! Well, I can tell you that, before you think about making fun of her, girlie is making bank off of this. 

ICYMI, the “gifts” that users send actually cost real money, and creators get a portion of it. By simply swaying, reacting to the gifts in an animated way, and not interacting with the chat (or users) at all, TikTok creators can make upwards of a couple hundred dollars for an hour or two of streaming. Say what you want, but it’s nothing to scoff at. Sign me up.

According to an email Pinkydoll sent Samantha Cole from VICE, when she first started, she was making $250 a day, but now she makes $7,000 or more.

Pinkydoll told Cole that she “love[s] to go live and react… to gifts.” She then added, “There are so many and the views going up is boosting me.”

After people saw the crazy numbers Pinkydoll was bringing in, others tried the trend out for themselves. And honestly, it doesn’t seem that difficult.

A TikTok user by the name of @nerdywinter was inspired by Pinkydoll’s success. She tried out the trend herself and her first livestream brought her $700 in three hours. Say what you want, but I’ll never talk down on someone who’s hustling for a paycheck, especially doing something this harmless.

So, all I’m gonna say is, if you happen to see me on TikTok live acting like this, mind your own business. And send a gift, please.

Eileen is a senior at Fairfield University who is studying Communications with minors in English and Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies. She has a passion for magazine writing and hopes to pursue a career in the field. Eileen is a Wellness writer for Her Campus where she covers mental health, sex & relationships, wellness, and more. She also is a self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, so she dips her toes into those sections of Her Campus as well. In addition to her participation as a Her Campus National Writer, Eileen is one of the Campus Correspondents (CCs) at Her Campus’s Fairfield University chapter. She oversees the entire chapter and works with her other CC to curate ideas and events for HCFU. She also mentors and trains the editorial team and helps create content and boost engagement alongside the social media team. In her free time, you can find Eileen creating new Spotify playlists, getting a sweet treat with friends, or obsessing over Taylor Swift. If she isn’t doing that, you’ll likely find Eileen with her six best friends from school talking about their “Big Three”: "Normal People," TikTok edits, and "Little Women."