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From FYP to Fresh Start: Can TikTokers Ever Truly Rebrand?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Casper Libero chapter.

Over the past few years, many of TikTok’s most followed stars have been trying out for bigger things. From acting to singing careers, one by one they’ve moved beyond the platform – but not all transitions have been that smooth. Why this sudden urge to depart from TikTok, and is it truly worth the effort?

There isn’t a clear starting point for this trend, but many would point to Dixie D’Amelio as a trailblazer. Being one of the first major tiktokers to give it a try, she released a song called Be Happy, back in 2020, paving the way for others.

Following Dixie’s lead, Addison Rae, once the second most followed person on the app, pursued her music career. She even has an album and collaborations with bigger artists, such as Charli XCX. Not content with just music, she’s also ventured into acting with roles in He’s All That (2021) and Thanksgiving (2023), though facing criticism for it.

Much of the backlash faced by Addison and others entering the film industry isn’t exactly about their acting abilities but rather about allegedly taking roles that should be aimed at proper actors. There’s now a wave of TikTok-born stars being called up to major roles simply for their fame, instead of those who went through the casting process.  

This criticism extends beyond just the internet, having famous personas activity disliking the ideas. In a video that went viral after the 2024 People’s Choice Awards, Billie Eilish seems to contest the presence of tiktokers, pointing out the amount of them at the award show.

Jennifer Aniston wasn’t so far behind. In a Variety interview, the Friends actress claimed she felt “so lucky that we got a little taste of the industry before it became what it is today. […] It’s almost like it’s diluting the actor’s job.”

Continuing the trend of successful transitions, former couple Jaden Hossler (jxdn) and Nessa Barrett were able to smoothly move away from the platform. Hossler’s Comatose and Barrett’s Pain were well-received first singles, and their collaboration la di die has now over 100 million streams.

However, not all attempts in the music industry have been as successful. Chase Hudson, also known as Lil Huddy or just Huddy, tried his hand at music in 2021 with his first album. While it gained attention initially, it quickly faded, failing to match his own TikTok success. His “failed” attempt wasn’t an exception, those who actually succeeded were

Overall, we can recall many of those situations – the ones that worked and the ones that didn’t. TikTok remains a popular platform for aspiring stars, but success on the app doesn’t secure success in other fields. It is clear that when a person is already famous it’s much easier to launch a career, but it’s never guaranteed. Many are eager to take the risk, but not all are prepared for the diverse feedback they may encounter.


The article above was edited by Clara Rocha.

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Majoring in Journalism. 👩🏻‍💻🇧🇷 Sports lover & art enthusiast.