How many people does it take to fill a single classroom, around 30? So how many classrooms would it take to fill up 60 million people? For Australian TikTok star Harrison Pawluk, processing such a number has been a reality he’s had to digest as one of his public random acts of kindness videos went viral.
Currently sitting at over 65 million views with over 11 million likes, Pawluk’s video features him handing a woman flowers while he puts on a coat and then walking off saying “have a nice day” leaving the flowers behind for her.
The viral act has attracted coverage from international media outlets and has been shared thousands of times online.
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Here he reveals the top three benefits and downsides of having one of Australia’s most viral TikTok videos.
1. Unfathomable views and likes
Many may know this but TikTok has no set amount of reach on videos. You could make an account right now, post a video and a million people could see it if it performs well.
The chance of mass virality is what attracts new content creators to the platform who are looking to make a name for themselves.
Pawluk is no stranger to high views, his channel has over 3,200,000 followers and more than 90 million likes, however, even for him, 65 million views is a first.
When asked about how it feels to have that many eyeballs watch his content he describes it as “unfathomable”.
“It’s already tough to sit back and think about 65 million people, that’s over twice the population of Australia. But even that number is small when I think about all the people that have shared the video or watched it on another platform,” he said.
2. The mystery of monetisation
The first question that comes to most people’s minds is how much money you make off a video of that size.
“The answer may shock a few people, but I can hand on heart say that I made $0 directly off of the video. This is because there is no TikTok creator fund in Australia as of yet. I also made nothing from the content on Instagram.”
Instead of monetary compensation, the only thing gained off of a viral video is mainstream attention and an uptrend in views and followers which can potentially impact future brand collaborations.
Social media is slowly catching up to the mainstream advertising and monetisation methods with creators on YouTube and Snapchat able to cash in using the platforms’ short content fund.
3. The Snowball effect of media
Generally where there is something with mass virality, controversies can follow. After the woman in Pawluk’s random act of kindness video spoke out about being filmed without permission, he was faced with divided opinions from the public and media over the need for consent and his intentions.
“I had my video written about and shared on what felt like every news site in the country. What followed was requests from all the major radio and TV networks and international news sites wanting to amplify the story,” he said.
“There were probably 50 articles written about me which led to thousands of messages across all of my social media channels. Some were very positive and warming, while others who disagreed with my content were hostile and even threatening.”
Pawluk went on The Project to talk about his videos where he was challenged over claims his content was simply about views.
“I know my true intentions and I know that if I can inspire even one percent of the people that watch my content to go out there and do something good, I have done something that I believe is good for the world,” he said.