TikTok has a brand new reigning champion. Khaby Lame, a 22-year-old Senegalese-born creator, grew to become the most-followed individual on TikTok final night time, surpassing American TikTok star Charli D’Amelio, who previously had the distinction. Lame now has greater than 142.7 million followers in comparison with D’Amelio’s 142.3 million.
Lame, who’s based mostly in Italy, initially rose to fame by his use of TikTok’s duet and sew options, reacting wordlessly to sophisticated and absurd “life hacks.” He now primarily posts silent comedy skits, racking up hundreds of thousands of views and likes. His following started exploding final 12 months, and in current weeks, followers have launched efforts to push him to the high.
Lame’s ascent and unseating of D’Amelio is important. D’Amelio and her sister, Dixie, are two of the central figureheads of TikTok, constructing an entire media brand atop what they themselves admit was initially unintentional stardom. Their meteoric rise to fame by seconds-long dancing movies has perplexed individuals not on TikTok — and impressed hundreds of thousands of followers to attempt to do the similar. The sisters earned an estimated $27.5 million final 12 months, in accordance with estimates by Forbes.
Lame turning into the hottest persona on TikTok is notable given previous points raised by customers on the platform round how creators of coloration — and particularly Black creators — are handled.
In 2020, in response to accusations that the TikTok algorithm suppresses Black creators’ content material, the company pledged to take steps, together with making a range council and donating cash to nonprofits “that help the Black community.” Last 12 months, citing a scarcity of credit score for choreographing viral dances to hit songs, some Black creators took part in an informal strike, refusing to create dances that in any other case may disproportionately profit white creators.