How to gain one million TikTok followers in the ChatGPT era.
ChatGPT and TikTok make for the ultimate social experiment.
Credit: Mashable composite: TikTok / @gregisenberg
Following in the footsteps of HustleGPT, where GPT-4 was given $100 and told to make as much money as possible, TikTokGPT is an exercise in social capitalism. On April 13, Greg Isenberg, CEO of a product design agency tweeted(opens in a new tab) his social experiment: “I asked ChatGPT if it could take me to 1,000,000 TikTok followers in 30 days and it said it could. I’m doing everything it tells me to do for 30 days and seeing if it will make me TikTok famous.”
In the original prompt, Isenberg says he’ll ask TikTokGPT everyday what to record and will keep it updated on feedback his TikToks receive. Isenberg’s first instructions were to provide “niche expertise” by sharing a valuable insight from his knowledge of “building online communities, AI, or startups” and to use a trending hashtag related to AI. Isenberg obliged by explaining the difference between building a community and an audience, and used the hashtag #autoGPT.
Since then, Isenberg has gone with the strategy of sharing one quick tip everyday (per TikTokGPT’s instructions). So far he’s posted about meeting customers where they are and recorded himself reading a ChatGPT script providing generic tips about how to build a thriving online community. In each of the videos, Isenberg shares his progress and new instructions from ChatGPT. So far, Isenberg has gone from 442 TikTok followers to 1,000 in the span of three days.
Isenberg has also been sharing his progress on Twitter where he has 330,000 followers, which lead people to question whether his sizable Twitter following invalidates the experiment. “How much of the growth is due to the novelty of your Twitter users driving TikTok activity, as opposed to any TikTok vitality?” one user commented(opens in a new tab) on the original post.
When asked about this take in a DM with Mashable, Isenberg disagreed. “Does it matter?” he said, referring to how much of his traction is due to the novelty of the experiment. “I’m just doing what ChatGPT aka TikTokGPT tells me to do. And it told me cross promotion is a ‘great strategy.'” Since the point of the experiment is to “follow pretty blindly” what TikTokGPT tells him to do “it validates the experiment, not invalidates.”
Isenberg’s perspective is that he’s just doing what ChatGPT tells him to do, and if that involves capitalizing on trends, it’s no different from any other social media strategy. In this case, the trend just happens to be the thing which is helping him achieve that trend.
Whether or not you think it’s cheating, the virality of the experiment is bringing up some heady questions about the nature of social media strategy. Is it the source, the medium, or the message that matters most? Or none of it as long as it’s getting traffic?
Cecily is a tech reporter at Mashable who covers AI, Apple, and emerging tech trends. Before getting her master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she spent several years working with startups and social impact businesses for Unreasonable Group and B Lab. Before that, she co-founded a startup consulting business for emerging entrepreneurial hubs in South America, Europe, and Asia. You can find her on Twitter at @cecily_mauran(opens in a new tab).
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