If you’ve never heard of Nash Grier, -I’m not sure that’s possible at this point- he’s the most popular content creator on Twitter’s Vine. After amassing 7.8 million followers on his main Vine account he has been working on spreading his audience across new platforms over the past year. Now, with 4.1 million followers on Instagram, 2.7 million subscribers on YouTube, and a movie deal it’s safe to say things are going well for him.
The incredible popularity and influence commanded by people like Grier can make it difficult for smaller services to keep up, and this started to show when he set his sights on dominating mobile photo/video sharing service Mobli.
He used the service to announce a competition where his fans could win the chance to fly out and meet him in Atlanta. What happened next was insanity.
Robert Scoble, the Startup Liaison Officer for Rackspace (the company that hosts part of this website), was visiting Mobli’s offices in Tel Aviv, Israel yesterday when he noticed something was wrong:
“We were at Mobli’s offices today and they were scurrying around,” Scoble wrote on Facebook.
“‘My servers were down,’ explained founder Moshe Hogeg… Turns out [it] was this post by Nash Grier. 170,000 comments. I never have seen anything like this.”
The post received a total of 168,145 comments and 29985 ‘likes,’ with most of those rolling in just minutes after Grier posted details of the competition. That’s an incredible pace that would stress any system not accustomed to that level of engagement.
It’s very rare for a single post to get such a high level of genuine engagement from users. Instagram’s most ‘liked’ photo of 2013 only had 62,000 comments at last count, and while the world record for the most comments on a Facebook posts stands at over 15 million, they were made with the explicit purpose of breaking the world record. It’s incredibly rare for a single post of Facebook to get over 100,000 comments, much less 170,000 in just a few hours.
Influential people on the internet like Grier often have to be careful about who they link to on social media, and no one knows that more than popular YouTuber/Entrepreneur Philip DeFranco. Almost every smaller website he links to goes down within minutes of him posting, and for larger sites DeFranco’s influence can be either a blessing or a curse depending on how much they’ve invested in infrastructure. After suffering repeated traffic surges one website went as far as to contact DeFranco, asking him to stop linking to them as a source for his topical news show ‘The Philip DeFranco Show.’
Grier’s competition was in support of the first ever stop on The FAM Tour at Atlanta Comic Con. The tour will see friends and fellow Vine creators Cameron Dallas, Carter Reynolds, Nash Grier, and his brother Hayes travel around the country giving fans the chance to meet some of their favorite Vine creators. This new tour is being organized by Grier’s management company after they failed to reach an agreement with MagCon, another meet-and-greet event where fans paid between $30 and $150 to meet their favorite Vine creators.
Mobli is a mobile photo/video sharing service that allows users to share photos and videos with friends and share the experience of other users attending the same event. Founded in 2010, the company has raised $86 million in funding from a star-studded list of investors that includes actors Leonardo DiCaprio and Tobey Maguire, tennis champion Serena Williams, and billionaire Carlos Slim. Even though they have a small number of users compared to the likes of Instagram, they continue to charge ahead with new features, such as video live streaming, to stay ahead of the competition.